+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
EurekaMag Most Shared ContentMost Shared
EurekaMag PDF Full Text ContentPDF Full Text
+ PDF Full Text
Request PDF Full TextRequest PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on FacebookFollow on Facebook
Follow on TwitterFollow on Twitter
Follow on Google+Follow on Google+
Follow on LinkedInFollow on LinkedIn

+ Translate

How ancient DNA may help in understanding the origin and spread of agriculture

Philosophical Transactions-Royal Society of London Biological Sciences

How ancient DNA may help in understanding the origin and spread of agriculture

The origin and spread of agriculture have been central questions in archaeology for the last 75 years and are increasingly being addressed by a multidisciplinary approach involving biologists, ecologists, geographers and anthropologists as well as archaeologists. Molecular genetics has the potential to make an important contribution, especially by enabling the number of times that a crop or animal was domesticated to be determined. Molecular genetics can also assign approximate dates to domestication events, identify the wild progenitor of a domesticate, and provide new forms of evidence relevant to agricultural spread. With wheat, molecular genetical studies of modern plants have suggested that einkorn was domesticated just once but that emmer might have been domesticated more than once. Ancient DNA studies of animal remains have benefited from progress made with equivalent analyses of human bones, and with plant material there have been clear demonstrations of DNA preservation in desiccated seeds. Charred remains have also been shown to contain ancient DNA but this finding is unexpected in view of the high temperatures to which these seeds have supposedly been exposed. Ancient DNA studies of wheat remains have been used in taxonomic identification and in assessment of the possible breadmaking quality of the wheat grown at an Early Bronze Age site in Greece.

Accession: 003162336

DOI: 10.1098/rstb.1999.0362

Download PDF Full Text: How ancient DNA may help in understanding the origin and spread of agriculture

Related references

Porteres, R., 1950: Types of ancient agriculture of tropical Africa. Centres of origin and of primary diversity and cradles of agriculture before the sixteenth century. In this historical study, from the botanical aspect, of various types of agriculture in prehistoric and more recent times in western and eastern Africa, the writer discusses the occurrence of the diverse wild and cultivated forms of rice, sorghums...

Pinhasi, R.; Fort, J.; Ammerman, A.J., 2005: Tracing the origin and spread of agriculture in Europe. The origins of early farming and its spread to Europe have been the subject of major interest for some time. The main controversy today is over the nature of the Neolithic transition in Europe: the extent to which the spread was, for the most part...

Zohari, D. (Zohary, D), 1986: The origin and early spread of agriculture in the Old World. The history of plant domestication and cultivation is outlined from the beginning of agriculture in the Middle East to its spread by classical times to Europe and northern Africa (the classical Old World). Evidence for this process is based on pla...

Pope, K.O.; Pohl, M.E.; Jones, J.G.; Lentz, D.L.; von Nagy, C.; Vega, F.J.; Quitmyer, I.R., 2001: Origin and environmental setting of ancient agriculture in the lowlands of Mesoamerica. Archaeological research in the Gulf Coast of Tabasco reveals the earliest record of maize cultivation in Mexico. The first farmers settled along beach ridges and lagoons of the Grijalva River delta. Pollen from cultivated Zea appears with evidence...

Rygel Michael C.; Gibling Martin R., 2003: Centroclinal cross strata; origin, morphology, and implications for understanding ancient terrestrial ecosystems. Vegetation contributes to local sediment accumulation by interacting with sediment-laden floodwaters in channels and overbank areas. Although sedimentary structures formed from plant-sediment interaction are common in modern depositional systems,...

Kutanan, W.; Kampuansai, J.; Srikummool, M.; Kangwanpong, D.; Ghirotto, S.; Brunelli, A.; Stoneking, M., 2016: Complete mitochondrial genomes of Thai and Lao populations indicate an ancient origin of Austroasiatic groups and demic diffusion in the spread of Tai-Kadai languages. NlmCategory="UNASSIGNED">The Tai-Kadai (TK) language family is thought to have originated in southern China and spread to Thailand and Laos, but it is not clear if TK languages spread by demic diffusion (i.e., a migration of people fr...

Bilgic, H.; Hakki, E.E.; Pandey, A.; Khan, M.Kamran.; Akkaya, M.S., 2016: Ancient DNA from 8400 Year-Old Çatalhöyük Wheat: Implications for the Origin of Neolithic Agriculture. Human history was transformed with the advent of agriculture in the Fertile Crescent with wheat as one of the founding crops. Although the Fertile Crescent is renowned as the center of wheat domestication, archaeological studies have shown the cru...

Korotev Randy L.; Haskin Larry A., 1988: Some lessons from Apollo for a sampling strategy on Mars for understanding the origin of the ancient igneous crust and the composition of the mantle. LPI Technical Report 88-07: 104-105

Porteres, Roland, 1950: Ancient agricultural systems of intertropical Africa Primary centers of varietal origin and diversification and pre-16th century cradles of agriculture. The author believes that, to Vavilov's list of 2 centers of crop origin in Africa, the Mediterranean and the Abyssinian, should be added 2 more, a W. African center and an E. African center. Crop spp. originating in the W. African center appe...

Porteres, R., 1950: Ancient agricultures of intertropical Africa. Centres of origin and of primary varietal diversification and cradles of agriculture previous to the 16th century. The principal crops of tropical Africa are reviewed with regard to the geographical origin of species and varieties and the primary centres of cultivation. The " Delta Central " of the Niger in the French Sudan is the original home and f...