Evolutionary geneticists have traditionally applied a comparative approach, where the relationships between closely related species (or between individuals of the same species) are determined by contrasting their DNA sequences. DNA retrieved from museum specimens, fossil remains and archeological findings -collectively known as ancient DNA (aDNA) – have added an exciting new dimension to evolutionary studies; instead of indirectly inferring the likely state of DNA sequences from former generations of extant organism or from extinct species, aDNA allows the direct inspection and timing of the changes that have happened in a given species or evolutionary lineage throughout time. The aDNA field has recently blossomed thanks to the advent of high-throughput sequencing (HTS), which has radically increased the amount of data that can be produced from ancient samples. Although herbaria are present almost ubiquitously in natural history museums, their collections have not been extensively used for aDNA studies, and especially not for whole-genome analysis. We are using this largely untapped source to address a broad range of evolutionary questions in three main research avenues.
Extraction of ultrashort DNA molecules from herbarium specimens, , , and
Biotechniques (2017), 62(2) 76-79.
Reinforcing plant evolutionary genomics using ancient DNAand
Curr Opin Plant Biol (2017), 36 38-45.
Temporal patterns of damage and decay kinetics of DNA retrieved from plant herbarium specimens, , , , , , , and
R Soc Open Sci (2016), 3(6) 160239.
Contesting the presence of wheat in the British Isles 8,000 years ago by assessing ancient DNA authenticity from low-coverage data, , and
eLife (2015), 4.
Mining herbaria for plant pathogen genomes: back to the future, , , , and
PLoS Pathog (2014), 10(4) e1004028.
The rise and fall of the Phytophthora infestans lineage that triggered the Irish potato famine, , , , , , , , , , , and
Elife (2013), 2 e00731.
The complete list of publications of Hernán A. Burbano can be found in his google citations profile: