Inhibitor removal (humic/fulvic acids) in ancient DNA-PCR amplifications

Vicky Chang vchang at
Wed Aug 9 17:29:47 EST 1995

I am trying to amplify sex-specific regions of X and Y chromosomes in 
DNA derived from 110 year old bone samples.  I have had some success with
using a "biphasic" PCR from Hummel and Herrmann (1991), yet after bone
DNA isolation an intense blue-florescing band (typical of humic acid) is
seen on EtBr-stained agarose gels.  My question is:  Can the bone DNA
solution be purified with DE52 anion exchange chromatography resin
(Wattman labs), so that humic and fulvic acids (which intensely inhibit
Taq polymerase) are removed?  DE52 was used in "A reliable method for the
removal of co-purifying PCR inhibitors from ancient DNA", Biotechniques
16:  232-235.  I would appreciate any thoughts, suggestions or protocol
hints you've got.

Thanks, Vicky Chang
email:  vchang at

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