Fordyce, Sarah Louise10; Avila Arcos, Maria del Carmen10; Rasmussen, Morten10; Cappellini, Enrico10; Romero-Navarro, J. Alberto11; Wales, Nathan12; Alquezar Planas, David Eugenio10; Penfield, Steven13; Brown, Terence A.5; Vielle-Calzada, Jean-Philippe6; Montiel, Rafael6; Jørgensen, Tina10; Odegaard, Nancy14; Jacobs, Michael14; Arriaza, Bernardo15; Higham, Thomas F.G.9; Ramsey, Christopher Bronk9; Willerslev, Eske12; Gilbert, M Thomas P12
1 Natural History Museum of Denmark, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet2 Natural History Museum of Denmark, Natural History Museum of Denmark, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet3 Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico4 University of York5 University of Manchester6 Laboratorio Nacional de Genomica para la Biodiversidad7 University of Arizona8 UNIVERSIDAD DE TARAPACA9 Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art10 Natural History Museum of Denmark, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet11 Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico12 Natural History Museum of Denmark, Natural History Museum of Denmark, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet13 University of York14 University of Arizona15 UNIVERSIDAD DE TARAPACA
The characterization of biomolecules from ancient samples can shed otherwise unobtainable insights into the past. Despite the fundamental role of transcriptomal change in evolution, the potential of ancient RNA remains unexploited - perhaps due to dogma associated with the fragility of RNA. We hypothesize that seeds offer a plausible refuge for long-term RNA survival, due to the fundamental role of RNA during seed germination. Using RNA-Seq on cDNA synthesized from nucleic acid extracts, we validate this hypothesis through demonstration of partial transcriptomal recovery from two sources of ancient maize kernels. The results suggest that ancient seed transcriptomics may offer a powerful new tool with which to study plant domestication.