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Is evolution of domestication driven by tameness? A selective review with focus on chickens
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5508-4465
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
2018 (English)In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, ISSN 0168-1591, E-ISSN 1872-9045, Vol. 205, p. 227-233Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Domestication of animals offers unique possibilities to study evolutionary changes caused by similar selection pressures across a range of species. Animals from separate genera tend to develop a suite of phenotypic alterations referred to as "the domesticated phenotype". This involves changes in appearance, including loss of pigmentation, and alterations in body size and proportions. Furthermore, effects on reproduction and behaviour are typical. It is hypothesized that this recurring phenotype may be secondary effects of the increased tameness that is an inevitable first step in the domestication of any species. We first provide a general overview of observations and experiments from different species and then review in more detail a project attempting to recreate the initial domestication of chickens. Starting from an outbred population of Red Junglefowl, ancestors of all modem chickens, divergent lines were selected based on scores in a standardized fear-of-human test applied to all birds at 12 weeks of age. Up to the eighth selected generation, observations have been made on correlated effects of this selection on various phenotypes. The fear score had a significant heritability and was genetically correlated to several other behavioural traits. Furthermore, low-fear birds were larger at hatch, grew faster, laid larger eggs, had a modified metabolism and increased feed efficiency, had modified social behaviour and reduced brain size. Selection affected gene expression and DNA-methylation in the brains, but the genetic and epigenetic effects were not specifically associated with stress pathways. Further research should be focused on unraveling the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underlying the correlated side-effects of reduced fear of humans.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV , 2018. Vol. 205, p. 227-233
Keywords [en]
Genetics; Epigenetics; Domestication; Red junglefowl
National Category
Behavioral Sciences Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-150238DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2017.09.006ISI: 000439677300030OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-150238DiVA, id: diva2:1239820
Conference
50th International Congress of the International-Society-for-Applied-Ethology (ISAE)
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS); Swedish Research Council (VR); European Research Council (ERC) [322206]

Available from: 2018-08-17 Created: 2018-08-17 Last updated: 2018-09-19

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