There’s a genetic goldmine in the Black Sea

The following is an excerpt.

The Black Sea sediment record has a terrific variety of past plankton species that left behind their genetic makeup – the plankton paleome.

Using a combination of advanced ancient DNA techniques and tools to reconstruct the past climate,  Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution marine paleoecologist Marco Coolen , Giosan and colleagues have determined how communities of plankton have responded to changes in climate and the influence of humans over the last 11,400 years. 

“DNA offers the best opportunity to learn the past ecology of the Black Sea,” says Coolen. “For example, calcareous and organic-walled dinocysts are frequently used to reconstruct past environmental conditions, but 90 percent of the dinoflagellate species do not produce such diagnostic resting stages, yet their DNA remains in the fossil record.”

View the original article here: Black Sea: There’s Genetic Gold In Them Thar Sediments

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