As part of the PUSHH network, ESR7 will work on developing and applying a novel proteomic approach to identify the biological species of archaeological bone fragments. Palaeoanthropology utilizes peptide mass fingerprinting to screen sample sets encompassing thousands of bone chips from caves known to be occupied by anatomically modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans to identify hominin remains and further characterise them through deep palaeogenomic sequencing. Despite being cheap and robust, peptide mass fingerprinting has some clear limitations, because it commonly uses MALDI-TOF-MS instruments that are less sensitive and have lower resolution compared to what is now the state-of-the-art proteomics technology, i.e. Orbitrap (commercialised by partner organisation Thermo). Furthermore, peptide mass fingerprinting data interpretation is still manual and as such tedious and error- prone. ESR7 will apply the same approach based on data-independent acquisition (DIA) tandem MS and the ultra-fast peptide separation technology (~8 mins/run), developed by partner organisation EvoSEP, to screen bone proteomes at low cost with Orbitrap technology. The advantages over peptide mass fingerprinting will be represented by the acquisition of a much richer dataset per sample, higher sensitivity, higher automation, and the ability to use off-the-shelf spectral identification software. As a result, the ESR will acquire advanced laboratory, proteomics, and bioinformatics skills during the duration of the project. Part of this research will be accomplished by a secondment to the Centre for Protein Research, Olsen group, University of Copenhagen (Denmark).
Plus d’informations :
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology / web site