Approximately 10,000 years after the last mammoths used to roam across the North American and Eurasian spaces, they still remain an exciting subject of inquiry for researchers. Mammoths and elephants belong to the most ancient group of mammals, therefore, when studying mammoths the researchers reveal secrets of evolutionary origin of contemporary species. Discussions continue about genetic kinship of mammoths and contemporary elephants.
Now, Russian researchers working at several institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and Lomonosov Moscow State University, as well as at Universities of Massachusetts and California managed to obtain independent proof this kinship. The researchers managed to reconstruct the most ancient (as of today) complete DNA sequence of mitochondrial genome received from remains of a mammoth that died about 33,000 years ago.
Professor Rogayev, Doctor of Biology, and his colleagues (from UMASS MS, Scientific Center of Mental Health, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow State University, UCSD) published the article entitled “Complete mitochondrial genome and phylogeny of Pleistocene mammoth Mammuthus primigenius” on February 7 in the Plos Biology magazine, Public Library of Science (Plos), where they described the DNA sequence of 16,842 signs (16,842 pairs of nucleotides). This is a complete mitochondrial genome of a mammoth, whose remains had been extracted from the permafrost. The remains date back to the Pleistocene era – the period of time from 10,000 through 1.6-1.9 million years B.C. The investigations have showed that mammoths and Asia’s elephants are related species that drifted apart in the course of evolution soon after separation of their common ancestor from the line of African elephants.
Sergey Komarov | alfa
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