Programmes > Par auteur > Guy Julie

Metagenomic analysis of a 35,000-year-old Canis lupus coprolite of the Chauvet-Pont d'Arc Palaeolithic cave
Marie-Claude Marsolier-Kergoat  1, 2@  , Pauline Palacio  1@  , Céline Bon  2@  , Véronique Berthonaud  1@  , Frédéric Maksud  3@  , Frédérick Gavory  4@  , Julie Guy  4@  , Karine Labadie  4@  , Jean-Marc Aury  4@  , Patrick Wincker  4@  , Thomas Stafford  5@  , Jean-Marc Elalouf  1, 2@  
1 : Institute for Integrative Biology of the Cell (I2BC)
CEA, CNRS, Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette cedex
2 : UMR7206
Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Département Homme et Environnement, CNRS UMR7206, Musée de l’Homme, 17 place du Trocadéro et du 11 novembre, 75116 Paris
3 : Service Régional de l'Archéologie
32 rue de la Dalbade BP81 31080 Toulouse cedex 6
4 : Genoscope
CEA Evry 2 rue Gaston Crémieux 91006 Evry cedex
5 : Centre for GeoGenetics

To get insights into the genome and diet of ancient wolf in Europe, we performed high-throughput sequencing of DNA from coprolites collected in the Palaeolithic painted cave of Chauvet-Pont d'Arc (Ardèche, France). Shotgun sequencing of DNA from a well-preserved coprolite, radiocarbon dated to 35,600-33,600 year calBP, enabled reconstruction of the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome sequence of a Pleistocene wolf specimen. The genome sequence lies outside the diversity of the sequences that have been reported for extant dogs and Holarctic wolves. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrates that the mtDNA sequence corresponds to a hitherto unknown Canis lupus maternal lineage that diverged from the extant dog/Holarctic wolf lineage approximately 340,000 years ago. We found that this mitochondrial sequence is closely related to the mtDNA of other Canis lupus Pleistocene wolf specimens originating from Belgium that were recently described. However only the mitochondrial sequences of the belgian wolf specimens were characterized whereas we will also discuss the conclusions that can be drawn from the study of the nuclear genomic data of the Canis lupus Chauvet-Pont d'Arc specimen (we obtained a 10x coverage for the nuclear genome). Analysing the coprolite for other species to indicate the diet of our specimen, we detected cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) DNA sequences. This finding points to the cave as a reservoir of food for carnivores when bear carcasses were abundant, some 35,000 years ago, and helps to explain wolf intrusion into the deep cave sectors. Thus, with the characterization of a vanished maternal lineage and wolf-cave bear interaction, this study provides new insights into the evolution of Canidae and the paleoecology of a reference archaeological site.


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