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To better determine the history of modern birds, we performed a genome-scale phylogenetic analysis of 48 species representing all orders of Neoaves using phylogenomic methods created to handle genome-scale data. We recovered a highly resolved tree that confirms previously controversial sister or close relationships. We identified the first divergence in(More)
Responsible for the Irish potato famine of 1845-49, the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora infestans caused persistent, devastating outbreaks of potato late blight across Europe in the 19th century. Despite continued interest in the history and spread of the pathogen, the genome of the famine-era strain remains entirely unknown. Here we characterize temporal(More)
Claims of extreme survival of DNA have emphasized the need for reliable models of DNA degradation through time. By analysing mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from 158 radiocarbon-dated bones of the extinct New Zealand moa, we confirm empirically a long-hypothesized exponential decay relationship. The average DNA half-life within this geographically constrained(More)
Phytophthora infestans is one of the most destructive plant pathogens of potato and tomato globally. The pathogen is closely related to four other Phytophthora species in the 1c clade including P. phaseoli, P. ipomoeae, P. mirabilis and P. andina that are important pathogens of other wild and domesticated hosts. P. andina is an interspecific hybrid between(More)
Niche variation owing to individual differences in ecology has been hypothesized to be an early stage of sympatric speciation. Yet to date, no study has tracked niche width over more than a few generations. In this study, we show the presence of isotopic niche variation over millennial timescales and investigate the evolutionary outcomes. Isotopic ratios(More)
Between 1500 and 1850, more than 12 million enslaved Africans were transported to the New World. The vast majority were shipped from West and West-Central Africa, but their precise origins are largely unknown. We used genome-wide ancient DNA analyses to investigate the genetic origins of three enslaved Africans whose remains were recovered on the Caribbean(More)
The origin of maize (Zea mays mays) in the US Southwest remains contentious, with conflicting archaeological data supporting either coastal(1-4) or highland(5,6) routes of diffusion of maize into the United States. Furthermore, the genetics of adaptation to the new environmental and cultural context of the Southwest is largely uncharacterized(7). To address(More)
An innovative single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) library preparation method has sparked great interest among ancient DNA (aDNA) researchers, especially after reports of endogenous DNA content increases >20-fold in some samples. To investigate the behavior of this method, we generated ssDNA and conventional double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) libraries from 23 ancient and(More)
Genomic comparison across multiple species is a key tool for revealing macroevolutionary patterns of gene and genome evolution. Using the full genomes of 48 avian species representing all major extant clades, we present the first large scale analysis of vertebrate genome evolution outside of mammals. We found the smaller size of avian genomes was largely(More)
Swine vesicular disease virus (SVDV) is an enterovirus that is both genetically and antigenically closely related to human coxsackievirus B5 within the Picornaviridae family. SVDV is the causative agent of a highly contagious (though rarely fatal) vesicular disease in pigs. We report a rapid method that is suitable for sequencing the complete(More)