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Spilling the Beans on the Beanome Project: A Bio-Cultural Study of the Common Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) in the New World

Timothy Baumann1, 2, 3, Katharina Höland4, Ingo Ohlsson5, Kandace Hollenbach1, 2, Hector Castro4, 6, Shawn Campagna4, 6

At the University of Tennessee, a diverse research team has come together from archaeology, paleoethnobotany, chemistry, and genetics for the Beanome Project, a bio-cultural study of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) in the New World (Figures 1 & 2). The research objectives for this project are to determine when, how, and why the common bean was introduced into Native American diets in the Southeastern United States, and to define the biochemical and genomic structure of the common bean, including ancient DNA (aDNA).

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1UTK McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture, 2UTK Department of Anthropology, 3UTK Laboratory of Environmental Archaeology (LEA), 4UTK Department of Chemistry, 5UTK Bioinformatics Resource Center, and 6UTK Biological Small Molecule Mass Spectrometry Core