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Amber fossils & their significance for phylogenetical reconstruction

Jan 15, 2015



Presentation on the open talk in Bergen University(in Frames of seminars in Systematica and Phylogeny) on November 14th, 2012
In this talk an overview of the characteristics and geography of amber deposits is given. The usefulness of amber fossils both for DNA and morphology-based phylogenetic reconstruction is discussed and the potential of new methods such as SEM and computer tomography to overcome the hurdles of poor specimens preservation are presented.

  • 1. Amber fossils & their significancefor phylogenetic reconstruction Viktor A. BaranovI.I.Shmalhausen Institute of ZoologyDepartment of general and applied entomologyPhD student

2. Amber & Other fossil resins Amber is a fossilised natural resin with properties similar toamorphous polymeric glass (Poinar, 1992). Resins are Amber a complex mixture of terpenoid and/or phenoliccompounds (Anderson and Crelling, 1995). The are a lot of different groups of fossil resins differs inchemical, physical & taphonomical properties Main groups are: ambers, retinites & copals 3. Amber in Arts and culture 4. Types of biological inclusion infossil resins 5. Main world amber depositions(Tretiary and Cretaceous) 6. Main world amber Deposits:Baltic amber (Eocene) 7. Main world amber Deposits:Rovno (Eocene)Fig 1. Amber bearing part of Mezhygorje Fig. 2 The amber bearing zoneformation (Klesov)of Rovno and Zhitomir region Copyright: Perkovsky et. al. 2010 8. Main world amber Deposits:Hispaniola (Oligocene) 9. Main world amber Deposits:Myanmar (former Burma) 10. Lebanese amber (Cretaceous120-135 MYA) 11. Methods of amber fossils studyAmber cutting and polishing,Methods of securing amber pieces and reducing diffractivedistortion with oil (Grimaldi, 1993)Sidorchuk 2011 12. X-Ray computing tomography 13. X-Ray computing tomography General wievPrincipal scheme 14. X-Ray computing tomography 15. X-Ray computing tomography 16. Unique Cambay amber (Eocene)From: Mazur et al. 2012 17. SEM (Cambay amber)Wing of Insecta I.S.Larvae of Scale insect From: Mazur et al. 2012 18. Taphonomy of insects inAmber Taphonomy its geological science, whichdeals with the incorporation of organicremains in to sediments or other contexts, suchas resins, and the fate of these materials afterburial. Its usually divided in to three groups ofprocesses 1) necrolysis for deaths and its causes 2) biostratinomy for sedimentary historybefore the burial 3) dyagenesis for physical and chemicalmodification inside the sediments or resin 19. State of amber fossils preservation 20. Soft tissues from amberTermite soft tissue (Baltic amber):Kohring, 1998 21. Soft tissues from amber 22. DNA from ambers: true or falls?From: DeSalle et. All. (1993) Science, 257. P.1933-1937. 23. DNA: from ambers true orfalls?From: DeSalle et. All. (1993) Science, 257. P.1933-1937. 24. DNA: from ambers true or falls?Fossil weevil (Coleoptera: Nemonychidae) fromLebanese amber (120-135 MYA) (lateral view) From Cano, Poniar et. al. 25. Summary of criteria needed for authenticatingclaim of geologically ancient DNA (gaDNA)and cultures Specimen well dated Properly equipped laboratory facility. Daily movement up the contamination gradient. Frequent decontamination o f surfaces, reagents and tools in clean laboratory facility. Extensive decontamination o f ancient specimen before processing. Cloning of PCR products and sequencing of multiple clones. Intralaboratory reproducibility of results (cultures and DNA). Independent reproducibility of results by an other laboratory (cultures and DNA). Passes evolutionary rates tests. Ideally, age-dependent pattern in sequence diversity and DNA damage. 26. Practical application inphylogenetic: Reptiles 27. Practical application in phylogenetic: ReptilesFrom: Borsuk-Bialynicka 1999 28. Practical application inphylogenetic: non-biting midges 29. Chironomidae: Searching forthe Smittia stem group 30. Sakhalin Amber- searching forthe right age and faunisticalaffinities 31. References and picture sources 32. Thanks for Your attention!