Maximilian Kothe

Titel der Masterarbeit:

Screening for Alu-SINEs in 3000 year old human skeletal material of the Bronze Age Lichtenstein Cave

Since the Human Genome has been sequenced it is known that about half of our DNA consists of transposons. These are DNA elements that ?jump? through the genome into new locations. One major class of transposons is built by the SINEs (Short-Interspersed-Elements), containing the primate-specific Alu family. Many of these Alu-elements are associated with genetic diseases like different types of cancer or physiological disorders like Menkes-disease. Approximately every 20 births a new Alu transposition event is fixed in the germ-line, whereas somatic transpositions appear much more frequently. Several studies of the last decade have used polymorphic human-specific Alu-elements to investigate human population structure.
In my thesis I am going to compare presence/absence situations of Alu-elements at selected loci between individuals of the Bronze Age and recent populations.Because of the optimal conditions for DNA preservation in the Lichtenstein cave we are able to use these skeletal elements for our investigations. In the end, I will show the suitability of the used methods for such scientific questions and illuminate a part of the human microevolution during the last 3000 years.

Kothe M, Seidenberg V, Hummel S, Piskurek O (2016) Alu SINE analyses of 3,000-year-old human skeletal remains: a pilot study. Mobile DNA, 7:7 PDF