Title

Genetic Analysis of Ancient Bison Mitochondrial DNA

Presenter Information

Samuel Smith

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Zooarchaeology, Mitochondrial, Paleo-Environments

Abstract

The Kittitas Valley is located on what is considered the very periphery of the range in environments of which the species Bison bison can naturally survive. Since bison can be broken up into two separate sub-species, the Canadian Woodland Bison and the Great Plains Bison, it is my argument that by using genetic analysis of the mitochondrial DNA in the bones there is a potential for a better paleo-climatic model to be constructed for the Kittitas Valley. This project itself is broken up into two parts. The first part is to tell if it is possible to extract mitochondrial DNA from faunal remains found within the Kittitas Valley, using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method for mitochondrial DNA on ancient bison zooarchaeological remains. Assuming that mitochondrial DNA can be extracted using PCR, an analysis of the types of environments in which both those species currently live, would be able to help solidify a paleo-environmental model. However even if DNA is not extracted the bones can still help set up a paleo-environmental model that could be argued for at sites with bison remains.

Poster Number

36

Faculty Mentor(s)

Lorenz, Joseph

Additional Mentoring Department

Anthropology and Museum Studies

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May 15th, 11:30 AM May 15th, 2:00 PM

Genetic Analysis of Ancient Bison Mitochondrial DNA

SURC Ballroom C/D

The Kittitas Valley is located on what is considered the very periphery of the range in environments of which the species Bison bison can naturally survive. Since bison can be broken up into two separate sub-species, the Canadian Woodland Bison and the Great Plains Bison, it is my argument that by using genetic analysis of the mitochondrial DNA in the bones there is a potential for a better paleo-climatic model to be constructed for the Kittitas Valley. This project itself is broken up into two parts. The first part is to tell if it is possible to extract mitochondrial DNA from faunal remains found within the Kittitas Valley, using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method for mitochondrial DNA on ancient bison zooarchaeological remains. Assuming that mitochondrial DNA can be extracted using PCR, an analysis of the types of environments in which both those species currently live, would be able to help solidify a paleo-environmental model. However even if DNA is not extracted the bones can still help set up a paleo-environmental model that could be argued for at sites with bison remains.