London: Contrary to popular belief, the blood in a historic pumpkin, decorated with portraits of the protagonists of the French Revolution, did not belong to French King Louis XVI, a study reveals.
The blood belonged to a European man whose paternal lineage was very hard to find in current genetic databases, it confirmed.
According to the chronicles of the time, there were many citizens who went to the scaffold in which Louis XVI was executed to dip their handkerchiefs in the blood of the monarch and thus save a historic memory.
The study revealed the complete genome of the DNA recovered from a relic that was attributed so far to the French King.
The functional genome analysis was based on two main points - the genealogical line and the physical appearance - and in both cases the result was negative.
According to the historical records that go back to his 16 great-great grandparents, Louis XVI had a very heterogeneous genealogical line in which central European ancestors predominated, mainly from the area that today is Germany and Poland.
But the genome recovered from the pumpkin belongs to an individual with a clear French and Italian component, said the researchers.
"The techniques we used will be useful in forensic studies, in which more than recovering some informative genetic markers, it will be able to work with complete genomes," said Carles Lalueza-Fox, from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Spain.
The study appeared in the journal Scientific Reports.