Paleogenomics pp 189-203 | Cite as

Archaeogenomics and Crop Adaptation

  • Robin G. AllabyEmail author
  • Oliver Smith
  • Logan Kistler
Part of the Population Genomics book series (POGE)


The genetic history of domestic plants is complex, protracted, and unique to often very specific factors including location, human intent, and the wider environment. In addition to well-addressed questions of domestication syndrome, and conscious versus unconscious selection, the issue of domestication poses a plethora of more nuanced questions, in particular regarding plants’ abilities to adapt to new environments, and the genomic scars those forced changes leave behind. Ancient DNA from archaeobotanical remains offers a window through which we are now beginning to unravel these histories, in a large part through the technical advances in sequencing technologies and theoretical advances in genome evolution. In this chapter, we will explore how plant archaeogenomics is characterized in a large part by plasticity, of genome size, genome activity, and transposable elements, through specific mechanisms including introgression, mutation load, and stress response. We will also examine the various substrates from which invaluable information can be recovered, by no means limited to DNA from seeds.


Adaptation Agriculture Archaeobotany Archaeogenomics Domestication Functionalization Genome size Heterozygosity Introgression Mutation load Ploidy Transposable elements 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Life SciencesUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK
  2. 2.Natural History Museum of DenmarkCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Department of AnthropologySmithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural HistoryWashington, DCUSA

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