The ancient DNA revolution of the past 35 years has driven an explosion in the breadth, nuance, and diversity of questions that are approachable using ancient biomolecules, and plant research has been a constant, indispensable facet of these developments. Using archaeological, paleontological, and herbarium plant tissues, researchers have probed plant domestication and dispersal, plant evolution and ecology, paleoenvironmental composition and dynamics, and other topics across related disciplines. Here, we review the development of the ancient DNA discipline and the role of plant research in its progress and refinement. We summarize our understanding of long-term plant DNA preservation and the characteristics of degraded DNA. In addition, we discuss challenges in ancient DNA recovery and analysis and the laboratory and bioinformatic strategies used to mitigate them. Finally, we review recent applications of ancient plant genomic research.
|Annual Review of Plant Biology
|Early online date
|2 Mar 2020
|Published - 30 Apr 2020
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- Ancient plant DNA
- environmental ancient DNA
- herbarium collections