Extraction of Ancient DNA from Plant Remains
Ancient plant remains from archaeological sites, paleoenvironmental contexts, and herbaria provide excellent opportunities for interrogating plant genetics over Quaternary timescales using ancient DNA (aDNA)-based analyses. A variety of plant tissues, preserved primarily by desiccation and anaerobic waterlogging, have proven to be viable sources of aDNA. Plant tissues are anatomically and chemically diverse and therefore require optimized DNA extraction approaches. Here, we describe a plant DNA isolation protocol that performs well in most contexts. We include recommendations for optimization to retain the very short DNA fragments that are expected to be preserved in degraded tissues.
Key wordsAncient plant DNA DNA extraction Archaeogenomics Archaeobotany Paleoethnobotany
N.W. was supported by the National Science Foundation (Award number DEB-1354622).
- 5.Wales N, Andersen K, Cappellini E (2014) Ancient biomolecules from archaeobotanical remains. In: Marston JM, d’Alpoim Guedes J, Warinner C (eds) Method and theory in paleoethnobotany. University Press of Colorado, Boulder, pp 293–313Google Scholar
- 8.Doyle JJ, Doyle JL (1987) A rapid DNA isolation procedure for small quantities of fresh leaf tissue. Phytochem Bull 19:11–15Google Scholar
- 15.Allaby RG et al (1997) Evidence for the survival of ancient DNA in charred wheat seeds from European archaeological sites. Anc Biomol 1(2):119–129Google Scholar