EGU General Assembly 2020
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the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Hybridization capture of larch (Larix Mill.) chloroplast genomes from sedimentary ancient DNA reveals past changes of Siberian forest

Luise Schulte1,2, Nadine Bernhardt1, Kathleen Stoof-Leichsenring1, Heike Zimmermann1, Luidmila Pestryakova3, Laura Epp1, and Ulrike Herzschuh1,2,4
Luise Schulte et al.
  • 1Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Forschungsstelle Potsdam, Germany (
  • 2Institut für Biochemie and Biologie, Universität Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
  • 3Institute of Natural Sciences, North-Eastern Federal University of Yakutsk, Yakutsk, Russia
  • 4Institut für Geowissenschaften, Universität Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany

Siberian larch (Larix Mill.) forests dominate vast areas of northern Russia and contribute important ecosystem services to the earth. To be able to predict future responses of these forests to a changing climate, it is important to understand also past dynamics of larch populations. One well-preserved archive to study vegetation changes of the past is sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) extracted from lake sediment cores. We studied a lake sediment core covering 6700 calibrated years BP, from the Taymyr region in northern Siberia. To enrich the sedaDNA for DNA of our focal species Larix, we combine shotgun sequencing and hybridization capture with long-range PCR-generated baits covering the complete Larix chloroplast genome. In comparison to shotgun sequencing, hybridization capture results in an increase of taxonomically classified reads by several orders of magnitude and the recovery of near-complete chloroplast genomes of Larix. Variation in the chloroplast reads confirm an invasion of Larix gmelinii into the range of Larix sibirica before 6700 years ago. In this time span, both species can be detected at the site, although larch populations have decreased from a forested area to a single-tree tundra at present. This study demonstrates for the first time that hybridization capture applied to ancient DNA from lake sediments can provide genome-scale information and is a viable tool for studying past changes of a specific taxon.

How to cite: Schulte, L., Bernhardt, N., Stoof-Leichsenring, K., Zimmermann, H., Pestryakova, L., Epp, L., and Herzschuh, U.: Hybridization capture of larch (Larix Mill.) chloroplast genomes from sedimentary ancient DNA reveals past changes of Siberian forest, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19733,, 2020

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