Huang, Y.-T., Churchman, G. J., Lowe, D. J., Rawlence, N. J., Schipper, L. A., & Cooper, A. (2012). Evaluating the character and preservation of DNA within allophane clusters in buried soils on Holocene tephras, northern New Zealand. In G. J. Churchman, R. Cresswell, & B. Singh (Eds.), Proceedings of Combined Australian Regolith Geoscientists Association and Australian Clay Minerals Society Conference, Mildura, Victoria, Australia(pp. 121–124). ACMS.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8863
Clay minerals possess sorptive capacities for organic and inorganic matter, including DNA (Lorenz and Wackernagel, 1994), and hence reduce the utilization and degradation of organic matter or DNA by microorganisms. Buried allophane-rich soils on tephras (volcanic-ash beds) on the North Island, dated using tephrochronology, provide a valuable paleobiological ‘laboratory’ for studying the preservation of ancient DNA (aDNA) (Haile et al., 2007). Allophane comprises Al-rich nanocrystalline spherules ~3.5-5 nm in diameter (Fig. 1) with extremely large surface areas (up to 1000 m2 g-1). Moreover, allophanic soils are strongly associated with organic matter (Parfitt, 2009), and so we hypothesize that allophane also plays an important role for DNA protection within such soils.
This article has been published in Proceedings of Combined Australian Regolith Geoscientists Association and Australian Clay Minerals Society Conference. © 2012 copyright with the author.