Tracing ancestor rice of Suriname Maroons back to its African origin

Tinde R. Van Andel, Rachel S. Meyer, Saulo A. Aflitos, Judith A. Carney, Margaretha A. Veltman, Dario Copetti, Jonathan Flowers, Reinout M. Havinga, Harro Maat, Michael Purugganan, Rod A. Wing, M. Eric Schranz

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

Abstract

African rice (Oryza glaberrima) and African cultivation practices are said to have influenced emerging colonial plantation economies in the Americas 1,2. However, the level of impact of African rice practices is difficult to establish because of limited written or botanical records 2,3. Recent findings of O. glaberrima in rice fields of Suriname Maroons bear evidence of the high level of knowledge about rice among African slaves and their descendants, who consecrate it in ancestor rituals 4,5. Here we establish the strong similarity, and hence likely origin, of the first extant New World landrace of O. glaberrima to landraces from the Upper Guinean forests in West Africa. We collected African rice from a Maroon market in Paramaribo, Suriname, propagated it, sequenced its genome 6 and compared it with genomes of 109 accessions representing O. glaberrima diversity across West Africa. By analysing 1,649,769 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in clustering analyses, the Suriname sample appears sister to an Ivory Coast landrace, and shows no evidence of introgression from Asian rice. Whereas the Dutch took most slaves from Ghana, Benin and Central Africa 7, the diaries of slave ship captains record the purchase of food for provisions when sailing along the West African Coast 8, offering one possible explanation for the patterns of genetic similarity. This study demonstrates the utility of genomics in understanding the largely unwritten histories of crop cultures of diaspora communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16149
JournalNature Plants
Volume2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 3 2016

Fingerprint

Oryza glaberrima
Suriname
ancestry
rice
landraces
Western Africa
genome
Benin
cropping sequence
Central Africa
Cote d'Ivoire
Ghana
ships
introgression
single nucleotide polymorphism
paddies
plantations
markets
genomics
coasts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science

Cite this

Van Andel, T. R., Meyer, R. S., Aflitos, S. A., Carney, J. A., Veltman, M. A., Copetti, D., ... Schranz, M. E. (2016). Tracing ancestor rice of Suriname Maroons back to its African origin. Nature Plants, 2, [16149]. https://doi.org/10.1038/nplants.2016.149

Tracing ancestor rice of Suriname Maroons back to its African origin. / Van Andel, Tinde R.; Meyer, Rachel S.; Aflitos, Saulo A.; Carney, Judith A.; Veltman, Margaretha A.; Copetti, Dario; Flowers, Jonathan; Havinga, Reinout M.; Maat, Harro; Purugganan, Michael; Wing, Rod A.; Schranz, M. Eric.

In: Nature Plants, Vol. 2, 16149, 03.10.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

Van Andel, TR, Meyer, RS, Aflitos, SA, Carney, JA, Veltman, MA, Copetti, D, Flowers, J, Havinga, RM, Maat, H, Purugganan, M, Wing, RA & Schranz, ME 2016, 'Tracing ancestor rice of Suriname Maroons back to its African origin', Nature Plants, vol. 2, 16149. https://doi.org/10.1038/nplants.2016.149
Van Andel TR, Meyer RS, Aflitos SA, Carney JA, Veltman MA, Copetti D et al. Tracing ancestor rice of Suriname Maroons back to its African origin. Nature Plants. 2016 Oct 3;2. 16149. https://doi.org/10.1038/nplants.2016.149
Van Andel, Tinde R. ; Meyer, Rachel S. ; Aflitos, Saulo A. ; Carney, Judith A. ; Veltman, Margaretha A. ; Copetti, Dario ; Flowers, Jonathan ; Havinga, Reinout M. ; Maat, Harro ; Purugganan, Michael ; Wing, Rod A. ; Schranz, M. Eric. / Tracing ancestor rice of Suriname Maroons back to its African origin. In: Nature Plants. 2016 ; Vol. 2.
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