Revival and identification of bacterial spores in 25- to 40-million-year-old Dominican amber

Science. 1995 May 19;268(5213):1060-4. doi: 10.1126/science.7538699.

Abstract

A bacterial spore was revived, cultured, and identified from the abdominal contents of extinct bees preserved for 25 to 40 million years in buried Dominican amber. Rigorous surface decontamination of the amber and aseptic procedures were used during the recovery of the bacterium. Several lines of evidence indicated that the isolated bacterium was of ancient origin and not an extant contaminant. The characteristic enzymatic, biochemical, and 16S ribosomal DNA profiles indicated that the ancient bacterium is most closely related to extant Bacillus sphaericus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amber*
  • Animals
  • Bacillus / genetics
  • Bacillus / isolation & purification
  • Base Sequence
  • Bees / microbiology*
  • Biological Evolution
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial / isolation & purification
  • Dominican Republic
  • Fossils*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • RNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • Spores, Bacterial / genetics
  • Spores, Bacterial / isolation & purification
  • Spores, Bacterial / physiology*

Substances

  • Amber
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Bacterial

Associated data

  • GENBANK/L38654
  • GENBANK/L38655