Scientists for the first time managed to sequence the genome of a plant that died out 2,000 years ago

Researchers at the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology at New York University in Abu Dhabi successfully

sequenced the genome of previously extinct speciesdate palm (Phoenix dactylifera). This type of palm grew more than 2 thousand years ago. Phoenix dactylifera L seeds have been extracted from archaeological sites in the southern Levant region and radiocarbon dated from the 4th century BC to the 2nd century AD.

Scientists germinated seeds, creating new onesviable plants. Then they sequenced the genome of already germinated samples of ancient plants and used the data to study the genetics of previously extinct date palms.

Thus, scientists for the first time managed to sequence the genome of an extinct plant.

The authors of the work noted that they were “lucky thatdate palm seeds can live a long time - in this case more than 2,000 years - and germinate with minimal DNA damage in the dry environment of the region. " The "genomics of resurrection" approach is called by scientists "an extremely effective way of studying the genetics and evolution of past and possibly extinct species." "By reviving biological material - ancient seeds from archaeological, paleontological sites or historical collections, we can not only study the genomes of lost populations, but also rediscover genes that have already disappeared," the scientists conclude.

Recall date palms (Phoenix dactylifera)- one of the oldest crops cultivated in Mesopotamia in the fourth millennium BC. The Kingdom of Judea, which emerged in the 11th century in the southern part of the Kingdom of Israel, became famous in many ways for its date groves.

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