Analysis of environmental ancient DNA is a rapidly expanding scientific field, opening up exciting new possibilities to address paleoenvironmental, ecological and evolutionary research questions. To be able to conduct (environmental) ancient DNA research, the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science (EMG) established an ancient DNA (aDNA) lab at Umeå University in 2018.
Inside of the operational Lab of the aDNA Lab facility
ImageDoreen Yu-Tuan Huang
The aDNA lab is located in the basement of the Naturvetarhuset. This facility is divided into a shower room, a 1st preparation room (temporal storage of daily use lab material), a 2nd preparation room (changing into clean suits, masks, etc.), and the operation lab (DNA extraction and library/PCR preparation room).
The aDNA lab counts with a positive air-pressure with HEPA filtering system at 40 l/s and it is equipped with UV sterilisation systems and alarms.
The aDNA lab is equipped with a free DNA fridge (4°C) for reagent storage and a freezer (-20°C) for sample storage. Other materials include a biological hood, two spinners for 1.0 and 0.5 mL tubes, one centrifuge for 1.0-2.0 mL tubes, a UV crosslinker, an oven with rotators, a pre-PCR UV cabinet, a notebook computer, shelves, and working benches.
Tasks that can be performed at the Umeå ancient DNA lab
DNA extraction from ancient remains (e.g. bones) and sedimentary archives (e.g., sediments, permafrosts, ancient soils, calciferous materials)
aDNA and historical DNA storage
Pre-DNA amplification (PCR) preparations
Library preparation for metabarcoding and metagenomic analysis