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From the same journal

A multidisciplinary study of archaeological grape seeds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

  • Enrico Cappellini
  • M. Thomas P. Gilbert
  • Filippo Geuna
  • Girolamo Fiorentino
  • Allan Hall
  • Jane Thomas-Oates
  • Peter D. Ashton
  • David A. Ashford
  • Paul Arthur
  • Paula F. Campos
  • Johan Kool
  • Eske Willerslev
  • Matthew J. Collins

Department/unit(s)

Publication details

JournalNaturwissenschaften
DatePublished - Feb 2010
Issue number2
Volume97
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)205-217
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We report here the first integrated investigation of both ancient DNA and proteins in archaeobotanical samples: medieval grape (Vitis vinifera L.) seeds, preserved by anoxic waterlogging, from an early medieval (seventh-eighth century A.D.) Byzantine rural settlement in the Salento area (Lecce, Italy) and a late (fourteenth-fifteenth century A.D.) medieval site in York (England). Pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry documented good carbohydrate preservation, whilst amino acid analysis revealed approximately 90% loss of the original protein content. In the York sample, mass spectrometry-based sequencing identified several degraded ancient peptides. Nuclear microsatellite locus (VVS2, VVMD5, VVMD7, ZAG62 and ZAG79) analysis permitted a tentative comparison of the genetic profiles of both the ancient samples with the modern varieties. The ability to recover microsatellite DNA has potential to improve biomolecular analysis on ancient grape seeds from archaeological contexts. Although the investigation of five microsatellite loci cannot assign the ancient samples to any geographic region or modern cultivar, the results allow speculation that the material from York was not grown locally, whilst the remains from Supersano could represent a trace of contacts with the eastern Mediterranean.

    Research areas

  • Archaeobotany, Grape, Ancient DNA, Ancient proteins, Mass spectrometry, Proteomics, Vitis vinifera, VITIS-VINIFERA L., MICROSATELLITE ANALYSIS, PROTEIN SEQUENCES, OSTEOCALCIN PROTEIN, CABERNET-SAUVIGNON, DNA POLYMORPHISMS, MASS-SPECTROMETRY, STORAGE PROTEINS, SACRED LOTUS, ANCIENT DNA

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