Isolation and amplification of ancient DNA from herborized grapevine leaves collected by Spanish botanist Simón de Rojas Clemente y Rubio in 1803-1804
The Spanish botanist Simón de Rojas Clemente y Rubio (1777-1827) did the groundwork for modern ampelography, the discipline that focuses on the characterization of Vitis vinifera L. He developed his methods through the examination of material he himself collected in Andalusia in 1803-04. The material that Clemente herborized (leaves and shoots) is preserved among the collections held in the Royal Botanical Garden herbaria. Clemente's herbarium contains 186 specimens, all in an excellent state of preservation, and it is the world's oldest collection of herborized grapevine cultivars, as it was collected before the arrival of phylloxera in Spain. For these reasons, this herbarium is a remarkable source of information for the study of ancient grapevine cultivars and the history of ampelography and viticulture in general. Despite its clear relevance for research in viticulture, not much attention has been paid to it, and it had never been fully studied before. The present work reports the successful isolation and amplification of ancient nuclear DNA extracted from Clemente's herborized material, allowing the molecular identification of two cultivars.
Gago, P., Laucou, V., Santiago, J.L., Boso, S., Lacombe, T., Velayos, M., Legrand, D., Boursiquot, J.‑M. and Martinez, M.C. (2019). Isolation and amplification of ancient DNA from herborized grapevine leaves collected by Spanish botanist Simón de Rojas Clemente y Rubio in 1803-1804. Acta Hortic. 1248, 35-42
Vitis vinifera, herbarium specimens, aDNA, SSR markers