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Type: Theses
Title: Ancient DNA from pre-Columbian South America
Author: Valverde Garnica, Guido Marcelo
Issue Date: 2016
School/Discipline: School of Biological Sciences
Abstract: Ancient DNA (aDNA) research in the Americas represents a genetic strategy to investigate demographic and historical events of populations in the continent with the added bonus of having a direct and temporal perspective. This thesis aims to explore human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diversity from a large number of pre-Columbian samples in a diachronic transect through time in order to refine our understanding of the genetic structure and diversity of ancient civilizations in the Central Andes of South America prior to the arrival of Europeans. I used a combination of traditional PCR-based methods and the latest technological advances for DNA analysis (i.e. Next-Generation Sequencing – NGS) to generate high-resolution mtDNA data to explore the past genetic diversity of South American populations. This work shows the perspective of aDNA research to identify temporal transitions in the genetic composition in the Central Andes of South America in real-time, since I aimed to incorporate samples from all cultural archaeological periods, improving the spatial and geographic coverage. By comparing the results with genetic data from modern-day native populations, this thesis will also address the potential impact of the European colonization on indigenous populations to understand the evolutionary history of Native Americans. To that end, the acquisition of high-resolution genomic data from ancient specimens showcase the true potential of aDNA research to uncover (re-discover) lost genetic diversity or lost mtDNA lineages from pre-Columbian populations, which cannot be inferred from modern-day populations. I aim to provide an accurate description of patterns of genetic diversity through time, reconciling and contrasting the genetic data with valuable archaeological information, and to test for demographic and population continuity or discontinuity in pre-contact South America. Finally, this thesis adds important perspective to the existing knowledge about mtDNA diversity and population prehistory in the Central Andes.
Advisor: Haak, Wolfgang
Llamas, Bastien
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) (Research by Publication) -- University of Adelaide, School of Biological Sciences, 2016.
Keywords: ancient DNA
mitochondrial DNA
Native American populations
Central Andes
South America
Research by Publication
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/legals
DOI: 10.4225/55/5901410781f14
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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