An efficient pipeline for ancient DNA mapping and recovery of endogenous ancient DNA from whole-genome sequencing data

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Ancient DNA research has developed rapidly over the past few decades due to improvements in PCR and next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, but challenges still exist. One major challenge in relation to ancient DNA research is to recover genuine endogenous ancient DNA sequences from raw sequencing data. This is often difficult due to degradation of ancient DNA and high levels of contamination, especially homologous contamination that has extremely similar genetic background with that of the real ancient DNA. In this study, we collected whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data from 6 ancient samples to compare different mapping algorithms. To further explore more effective methods to separate endogenous DNA from homologous contaminations, we attempted to recover reads based on ancient DNA specific characteristics of deamination, depurination, and DNA fragmentation with different parameters. We propose a quick and improved pipeline for separating endogenous ancient DNA while simultaneously decreasing homologous contaminations to very low proportions. Our goal in this research was to develop useful recommendations for ancient DNA mapping and for separation of endogenous DNA to facilitate future studies of ancient DNA.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEcology and Evolution
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)390-401
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • ancient DNA, BWA mem, deamination, DNA damage, genome mapping

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