Extraction of Ancient DNA from Plant Remains

Nathan Wales, Logan Kistler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Ancient plant remains from archaeological sites, paleoenvironmental contexts, and herbaria provide excellent opportunities for interrogating plant genetics over Quaternary timescales using ancient DNA (aDNA)-based analyses. A variety of plant tissues, preserved primarily by desiccation and anaerobic waterlogging, have proven to be viable sources of aDNA. Plant tissues are anatomically and chemically diverse and therefore require optimized DNA extraction approaches. Here, we describe a plant DNA isolation protocol that performs well in most contexts. We include recommendations for optimization to retain the very short DNA fragments that are expected to be preserved in degraded tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAncient DNA: Methods and Protocols
EditorsBeth Shapiro, Axel Barlow, Peter D. Heintzman, Michael Hofreiter, Johanna L. A. Paijmans
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2019

Publication series

NameMethods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)


  • Ancient plant DNA
  • Archaeobotany
  • Archaeogenomics
  • DNA extraction
  • Paleoethnobotany

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