DNA: Ancient and Sediment DNA Studies

The scope of ancient DNA studies aims to study genetic characterizations of archaeobotanical material recovered from excavations at Kaymakçı and sediments taken from cores covering the Marmara Lake basin, nearby ridges and uplands, and the Gediz plain. The goal is to assess genetic changes that have occurred over time, often due to domestication, from prehistory to yesterday.

The main goals of the Ancient (aDNA) and Sediment DNA (sedaDNA) research group are as follows: i) to obtain high quality ancient DNA for use in genomic studies, we work with carbonized seeds (e.g., wheat, barley, chickpea, bitter vetch, and grape) retrieved from controlled excavations; ii) to screen agronomically important gene regions for evolutionary changes and the agronomic character of the ancient DNA of agricultural plants and to compare these with their contemporary relatives, this work aims to uncover changes in specific crop plants, notably genetic variation from ancient species to the present; this information will shed light on future agricultural activities; iii) obtaining information about the agricultural and vegetational history of the region through genetic analysis of sedaDNA extracted from a series of strategically placed sediment cores across the Marmara Lake Basin and the Gediz plain, our goal is to examine the population dynamics of existing plants and thus to generate information that can answer important questions on past and present breeding processes of specific crops.

Affiliated team personnel

Zeki Kaya, Middle Eastern Technical University
Asiye Çiftçi, Middle Eastern Technical University
Funda Özdemir Değirmenci, Middle Eastern Technical University
Çiğdem Kansu, Tekirdağ Namık Kemal University