Historical parchments in the form of documents, manuscripts, books, or letters, make up a large portion of cultural heritage collections. Their priceless historical value is associated with not only their content, but also the information hidden in the DNA deposited on them. Analyses of ancient DNA (aDNA) retrieved from parchments can be used in various investigations, including, but not limited to, studying their authentication, tracing the development of the culture, diplomacy, and technology, as well as obtaining information on the usage and domestication of animals.
Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix has a long history in China as a commonly used herb that can be used to treat various diseases, including those related to the liver, muscles, bones, and kidneys. Recently, an increase in the number of adulterants has been reported, which affects the clinical safety of Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix. To identify adulterants of Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix, we collected samples from major regions and conducted an in-depth genetic comparison of the herb and its commonly used adulterants.