Fire & Water: environmental damage to DNA

    Exposure to heat and (or) water may break the bond between a base and the sugar-phosphate backbone. Hydrolysis is a common form of damage in ancient DNA (aDNA) found in plant and (or) animal remains. Without a repair mechanism, hydrolysis leaves a gap in the backbone that will interfere in recovery of DNA by cloning or the polymerase chain reaction.

Figure ©2012 TA Brown, Introduction to Genetics (1st ed.); additional text ©2014 by Steven M. Carr