Date of this Version
Borry M, Cordova B, Perri A, Wibowo M, Prasad Honap T, Ko J, Yu J, Britton K, Girdland-Flink L, Power RC, Stuijts I, Salazar-García DC, Hofman C, Hagan R, Samdapawindé Kagoné T, Meda N, Carabin H, Jacobson D, Reinhard K, Lewis C, Kostic A, Jeong C, Herbig A, Hübner A, Warinner C. 2020. CoproID predicts the source of coprolites and paleofeces using microbiome composition and host DNA content. PeerJ 8:e9001 DOI 10.7717/peerj.9001
Shotgun metagenomics applied to archaeological feces (paleofeces) can bring new insights into the composition and functions of human and animal gut microbiota from the past. However, paleofeces often undergo physical distortions in archaeological sediments, making their source species difﬁcult to identify on the basis of fecal morphology or microscopic features alone. Here we present a reproducible and scalable pipeline using both host and microbial DNA to infer the host source of fecal material. We apply this pipeline to newly sequenced archaeological specimens and show that we are able to distinguish morphologically similar human and canine paleofeces, as well as non-fecal sediments, from a range of archaeological contexts.