Research ArticlePLANT SCIENCES

Origins and insights into the historic Judean date palm based on genetic analysis of germinated ancient seeds and morphometric studies

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Science Advances  05 Feb 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 6, eaax0384
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax0384
  • Fig. 1 Morphology of six germinated ancient date seeds before planting.

    (A) Adam, (B) Jonah, (C) Uriel, (D) Boaz, (E) Judith, (F) Hannah, and (G) HU37A11, an unplanted ancient date seed from Qumran (Cave FQ37) used as a control. Scale bars, 0.5 cm (A, no bar size as unmeasured before planting). Photo credit: Guy Eisner.

  • Fig. 2 Germinated ancient date seedlings.

    Ages in months at time of photograph (A to C) Adam (110 months), Jonah (63 months), and Uriel (54 months). (D to F) Boaz (54 months), Judith (47 months), and Hannah (88 months). Photo credit: Guy Eisner.

  • Fig. 3 Original and recalculated radiocarbon age distribution of germinated date seeds [current and previous studies (six) taking into account the absorbed percentage of modern carbon].

  • Fig. 4 Seed size comparison between ancient seeds from the Judean desert and modern date seeds.

    Length (millimeters) (left) and width (millimeters) (right) of ancient date seeds that failed to germinate (n = 18), 9 current wild individuals (n = 180), and 48 cultivated P. dactylifera varieties (n = 928). Letters a, b, and c above boxes indicate Tukey’s groups derived from HSD.test function and R package agricolae.

  • Fig. 5 Genetic analysis of the seven ancient seeds.

    (A) Structure analysis results are shown for modern and ancient western (green) and eastern (orange) genotype contributions. Pie charts highlight eastern (orange) and western (green) ancient seeds nuclear genomes contributions. (B) Ancient seeds maternal and paternal lineages origin. Arrows represent clonally transmitted parental information, with maternal (chloroplastic) and paternal (Y chromosome) from western (green) and eastern (orange) origins.

  • Fig. 6 Genetic distances tree showing the relationships among modern date varieties and ancient germinated seedlings relying on neighbor-joining algorithm.

    Modern varieties from United Arab Emirates (light orange), Iraq (red), Tunisia (blue), Morocco (light green), Egypt (dark green), and ancient genotypes (purple).

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary material for this article is available at http://advances.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/6/6/eaax0384/DC1

    Fig. S1. Map of Judean desert sites where ancient seeds were discovered.

    Fig. S2. PCA comparing current and ancient date (P. dactylifera) seeds.

    Fig. S3. Log probabilities between K values according to (44).

    Table S1. Judean desert archaeological sources of ancient date seeds and their preliminary measurements before planting.

    Table S2. Calibrated calendar ages of germinated ancient date seeds and controls.

    Table S3. Size parameters of 18 ungerminated ancient date seeds retrieved from potting soil.

    Table S4. Comparison of 18 ungerminated ancient date seeds with current date seeds from cultivated varieties and wild individual date palms.

    Table S5. Date palm varieties used for the genotyping reference matrix to compare ancient genotypes with current varieties.

    Table S6. Genetic diversity within ancient genotypes and geographic date palm groups.

    Table S7. Genetic distances (Cavalli-Sforza and Edwards) between ancient genotypes and current varieties.

  • Supplementary Materials

    This PDF file includes:

    • Fig. S1. Map of Judean desert sites where ancient seeds were discovered.
    • Fig. S2. PCA comparing current and ancient date (P. dactylifera) seeds.
    • Fig. S3. Log probabilities between K values according to (44).
    • Table S1. Judean desert archaeological sources of ancient date seeds and their preliminary measurements before planting.
    • Table S2. Calibrated calendar ages of germinated ancient date seeds and controls.
    • Table S3. Size parameters of 18 ungerminated ancient date seeds retrieved from potting soil.
    • Table S4. Comparison of 18 ungerminated ancient date seeds with current date seeds from cultivated varieties and wild individual date palms.
    • Table S5. Date palm varieties used for the genotyping reference matrix to compare ancient genotypes with current varieties.
    • Table S6. Genetic diversity within ancient genotypes and geographic date palm groups.
    • Table S7. Genetic distances (Cavalli-Sforza and Edwards) between ancient genotypes and current varieties.

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