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Sci Rep. 2014 Apr 24;4:4666. doi: 10.1038/srep04666.

Genomic analysis of the blood attributed to Louis XVI (1754-1793), king of France.

Author information

1
Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Dr. Aiguader 88, 08003 Barcelona, Spain.
2
1] Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) and Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Dr. Aiguader 88, 08003 Barcelona, Spain [2] Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Dr. Aiguader 88, 08003 Barcelona, Spain.
3
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, 612 Charles E.Young Drive South, Los Angeles, California, USA.
4
Departament d'Estadstica, Universitat de Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.
5
Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, Lab. of Molecular Anthropology, Universit di Bologna, Via Selmi 3, 40126 Bologna, Italy.
6
Laboratory of Medical and Forensic Anthropology, UFR des Sciences de la Sant, 78180 Montigny-le-Bretonneux, Paris, France.
7
1] Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Dr. Aiguader 88, 08003 Barcelona, Spain [2] Instituci Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avanats (ICREA), 08010 Barcelona, Spain [3] Centre de Regulaci Genmica (CRG), Barcelona 08003, Spain [4] National Institute for Bioinformatics (INB), Barcelona 08003, Spain.
8
1] Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Dr. Aiguader 88, 08003 Barcelona, Spain [2] Instituci Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avanats (ICREA), 08010 Barcelona, Spain [3] CNAG (Centro Nacional de Analisis Genomico), 08028 Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

A pyrographically decorated gourd, dated to the French Revolution period, has been alleged to contain a handkerchief dipped into the blood of the French king Louis XVI (1754-1793) after his beheading but recent analyses of living males from two Bourbon branches cast doubts on its authenticity. We sequenced the complete genome of the DNA contained in the gourd at low coverage (~2.5×) with coding sequences enriched at a higher ~7.3× coverage. We found that the ancestry of the gourd's genome does not seem compatible with Louis XVI's known ancestry. From a functional perspective, we did not find an excess of alleles contributing to height despite being described as the tallest person in Court. In addition, the eye colour prediction supported brown eyes, while Louis XVI had blue eyes. This is the first draft genome generated from a person who lived in a recent historical period; however, our results suggest that this sample may not correspond to the alleged king.

PMID:
24763138
PMCID:
PMC3998215
DOI:
10.1038/srep04666
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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