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Ancient bacteria show evidence of DNA repair

Johnson, Sarah Stewart; Hebsgaard, Martin B.; Christensen, Torben LU ; Mastepanov, Mikhail LU ; Nielsen, Rasmus; Munch, Kasper; Brand, Tina; Thomas, M.; Gilbert, P. and Zuber, Maria T., et al. (2007) In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104(36). p.14401-14405
Abstract
Recent claims of cultivable ancient bacteria within sealed environments highlight our limited understanding of the mechanisms behind long-term cell survival. It remains unclear how dormancy, a favored explanation for extended cellular persistence, can cope with spontaneous genomic decay over geological timescales. There has been no direct evidence in ancient microbes for the most likely mechanism, active DNA repair, or for the metabolic activity necessary to sustain it. In this paper, we couple PCR and enzymatic treatment of DNA with direct respiration measurements to investigate long-term survival of bacteria sealed in frozen conditions for up to one million years. Our results show evidence of bacterial survival in samples up to half a... (More)
Recent claims of cultivable ancient bacteria within sealed environments highlight our limited understanding of the mechanisms behind long-term cell survival. It remains unclear how dormancy, a favored explanation for extended cellular persistence, can cope with spontaneous genomic decay over geological timescales. There has been no direct evidence in ancient microbes for the most likely mechanism, active DNA repair, or for the metabolic activity necessary to sustain it. In this paper, we couple PCR and enzymatic treatment of DNA with direct respiration measurements to investigate long-term survival of bacteria sealed in frozen conditions for up to one million years. Our results show evidence of bacterial survival in samples up to half a million years in age, making this the oldest independently authenticated DNA to date obtained from viable cells. Additionally, we find strong evidence that this long-term survival is closely tied to cellular metabolic activity and DNA repair that over time proves to be superior to dormancy as a mechanism in sustaining bacteria viability. (Less)
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publication status
published
subject
keywords
DNA damage, long-term microbial survival, metabolic activity
in
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
volume
104
issue
36
pages
14401 - 14405
publisher
National Acad Sciences
external identifiers
  • wos:000249333600041
  • scopus:35448994420
ISSN
1091-6490
DOI
10.1073/pnas.0706787104
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c6b2cb42-0c38-479c-8f2e-079460e66d4d (old id 656965)
date added to LUP
2007-12-13 13:46:52
date last changed
2017-10-01 03:38:58
@article{c6b2cb42-0c38-479c-8f2e-079460e66d4d,
  abstract     = {Recent claims of cultivable ancient bacteria within sealed environments highlight our limited understanding of the mechanisms behind long-term cell survival. It remains unclear how dormancy, a favored explanation for extended cellular persistence, can cope with spontaneous genomic decay over geological timescales. There has been no direct evidence in ancient microbes for the most likely mechanism, active DNA repair, or for the metabolic activity necessary to sustain it. In this paper, we couple PCR and enzymatic treatment of DNA with direct respiration measurements to investigate long-term survival of bacteria sealed in frozen conditions for up to one million years. Our results show evidence of bacterial survival in samples up to half a million years in age, making this the oldest independently authenticated DNA to date obtained from viable cells. Additionally, we find strong evidence that this long-term survival is closely tied to cellular metabolic activity and DNA repair that over time proves to be superior to dormancy as a mechanism in sustaining bacteria viability.},
  author       = {Johnson, Sarah Stewart and Hebsgaard, Martin B. and Christensen, Torben and Mastepanov, Mikhail and Nielsen, Rasmus and Munch, Kasper and Brand, Tina and Thomas, M. and Gilbert, P. and Zuber, Maria T. and Bunce, Michael and Ronn, Regin and Gilichinsky, David and Froese, Duane and Willerslev, Eske},
  issn         = {1091-6490},
  keyword      = {DNA damage,long-term microbial survival,metabolic activity},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {36},
  pages        = {14401--14405},
  publisher    = {National Acad Sciences},
  series       = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences},
  title        = {Ancient bacteria show evidence of DNA repair},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0706787104},
  volume       = {104},
  year         = {2007},
}