Death of embryos from 2300-year-old quinoa seeds found in an archaeological site

Authors
Burrieza, Hernán Pablo; Sanguinetti, Agustin; Michieli, Catalina Teresa; Bertero, Hector Daniel; Maldonado, Sara Beatriz
Publication Year
2016
Language
English
Format
article
Status
Published version
Description
In the 1970s, during excavations at Los Morrillos, San Juan, Argentina, quinoa seeds were found within ancient pumpkin crocks protected from the light and high temperatures, and preserved in the very dry conditions of the region. The radiocarbon dates confirmed the age of these seeds at around 2300 years. Sectioning of some of these seeds showed reddish-brown embryos, different from the white embryos of recently harvested quinoa seeds. The ancient seeds did not germinate. The structure of the embryo cells was examined using light and transmission electron microscopy; proteins were analyzed by electrophoresis followed by Coomassie blue and periodic acid Schiff staining and fatty acids by gas chromatography. The state of nuclear DNA was investigated by TUNEL assay, DAPI staining, ladder agarose electrophoresis and flow cytometry. Results suggest that, although the embryo tissues contained very low water content, death occurred by a cell death program in which heterochromatin density was dramatically reduced, total DNA was degraded into small fragments of less than 500 bp, and some proteins were modified by non-enzymatic glycation, generating Maillard products. Polyunsaturated fatty acids decreased and became fragmented, which could be attributable to the extensive oxidation of the most sensitive species (linolenic and linoleic acids) and associated with a collapse of lipid bodies.
Fil: Burrieza, Hernán Pablo. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Oficina de Coordinación Administrativa Ciudad Universitaria. Instituto de Biodiversidad y Biología Experimental y Aplicada. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales. Instituto de Biodiversidad y Biología Experimental y Aplicada; Argentina
Fil: Sanguinetti, Agustin. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Oficina de Coordinación Administrativa Ciudad Universitaria. Instituto de Biodiversidad y Biología Experimental y Aplicada. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales. Instituto de Biodiversidad y Biología Experimental y Aplicada; Argentina
Fil: Michieli, Catalina Teresa. Universidad Nacional de San Juan. Facultad de Filosofía, Humanidades y Artes. Instituto de Investigaciones Arqueológicas y Museo "Mariano Gambier"; Argentina
Fil: Bertero, Hector Daniel. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Agronomía; Argentina. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina
Fil: Maldonado, Sara Beatriz. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Oficina de Coordinación Administrativa Ciudad Universitaria. Instituto de Biodiversidad y Biología Experimental y Aplicada. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales. Instituto de Biodiversidad y Biología Experimental y Aplicada; Argentina
Subject
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SEED
CHENOPODIUM QUINOA WILLD.
FATTY ACID OXIDATION
NECROSIS
PROGRAMMED CELL DEATH
PROTEIN GLCATION
Otras Ciencias Biológicas
Ciencias Biológicas
CIENCIAS NATURALES Y EXACTAS
Historia
Historia y Arqueología
HUMANIDADES
Access level
Restricted access
License
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/ar/
Repository
CONICET Digital (CONICET)
Institution
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas
OAI Identifier
oai:ri.conicet.gov.ar:11336/51030