Researchers examine plants from millennia-old seeds

Researchers examine plants from millennia-old seeds

The judaian date palm was considered extinct until several years ago plants from 2000 year old seeds could be refurbished. The inheritance of this resumed plants have now investigated researchers in the united arab emirates. The genetic changes, which determined the scientists in the a total of seven plants, reflect the growing influence of the romer in the eastern mediterranean, report in the specialist magazine pnas.

Estimate "resurrection genomics"

The judaian date palm attends the true date palms (phoenix dactylifera) and grew over centuries in the eastern mediterranean. "The approach of ‘resurrection genomics’ is a remarkably effective way to investigate the genetics and evolution of past and possibly extinct species as the judaish date palm", says study manager michael purugganan of the new york university.

Mutor studies of old samples are for research like a window in the past. They encourage the evolutionary history and biology of early populations and even of extinct species, such as neanderthalers, writing the scientists. Plants, however, presented a challenge, because herbal material is changed differently differently than about bones frequently and from it – if overhead – usually only small quantities and often heavily damaged genome will be recovered.

2000 year old date palm since 2008

A way out offers the offspring of plants from seeds found in archaological excavations. In 2008, scientists reported the successful attention of a judaish date palm from a 24,000-year-old seed. The researchers now examined the genome of this methuselah branded plant and that of six more. All come from the judaian wissen in today’s israel and thus from the research important levante region between north africa and west asia.

The area played a decisive role in the course of history both in the spread of man on different continents and for the beginning of agriculture. Around 2000 years ago, persia, egypt and rome went to power and influence.

Hardly any mutations in the DNA added

The age of the seeds was determined with the radiocarbon method, the oldest came from the 4. Century before christ, the youngest from the 2. Century after christ. The investigations showed that the genome of the plants has largely intact. "Despite the advanced age before germination, not much more mutation seem to have been added", write the authors.

Over time, genes of another date palm (phoenix theophrasti) collected in the genome of the plants, which today grow in crete and some other greek islands. The way on an increasing influence of the romische empire in the eastern mediterranean, the researchers write. "We have the gland that the seeds of the dead palm in the dry environment of the region can live very long – in this case more than 2000 years – and with minimal DNA damage germinate", says purugganan.

Ober the date palms other plants were already brought back to life, among other things, 1300 years old seeds of indian lotus flower and around 30.000 year old seeds of a glue crawl brought to the germ.