A transformative step in human evolution was the domestication of animals and plants. Domestication has resulted in large phenotypic changes resulting in the creation of new species, such as the origin of the domestic dogs from their wolf progenitors, between 20-40,000 years ago, and maize from teosinte, approximately 10,000 years ago. However, domestication can also result in relatively few genetic and phenotypic changes. For example, evidence suggests that cats have changed little in the approximately 9,000 years since they deigned to become a companion to humans. Recent advances in sequencing technology have allowed us to sample ancient remains and better understand the genetic changes and processes that underlie domestication. Beyond the identification of selection for traits of interest and the origins and fates of domestic species, this line of inquiry teaches us about the progress and aims of our ancestors. In this special series we present research examining how ancient DNA studies informs upon animal domestication.
By Laura M. Zahn
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Image: In November 2016, two young Przewalski's Horses a foal named Paprika and a mare named Olive walking together on a dry, frosty day at the "Pre-Ural steppe" site, a part of the Program of Establishing a Semi-Free Population of the Przewalski's Horse in the Orenburg Reserve in Russia. Credit: Natalia Sudets
Ancient genomes revisit the ancestry of domestic and Przewalski’s horses
Charleen Gaunitz, Antoine Fages, Kristian Hanghøj, Anders Albrechtsen, Naveed Khan, Mikkel Schubert, Andaine Seguin-Orlando, Ivy J. Owens, Sabine Felkel, Olivier Bignon-Lau, Peter de Barros Damgaard, Alissa Mittnik, Azadeh F. Mohaseb, Hossein Davoudi, Saleh Alquraishi, Ahmed H. Alfarhan, Khaled A. S. Al-Rasheid, Eric Crubézy, Norbert Benecke, Sandra Olsen, Dorcas Brown, David Anthony, Ken Massy, Vladimir Pitulko, Aleksei Kasparov, Gottfried Brem, Michael Hofreiter, Gulmira Mukhtarova, Nurbol Baimukhanov, Lembi Lõugas, Vedat Onar, Philipp W. Stockhammer, Johannes Krause, Bazartseren Boldgiv, Sainbileg Undrakhbold, Diimaajav Erdenebaatar, Sébastien Lepetz, Marjan Mashkour, Arne Ludwig, Barbara Wallner, Victor Merz, Ilja Merz, Viktor Zaibert, Eske Willerslev, Pablo Librado, Alan K. Outram, Ludovic Orlando
Journal Article | Science Date: 22-Feb-2018 DOI: 10.1126/science.aao3297
Ancient goat genomes reveal mosaic domestication in the Fertile Crescent
Kevin G. Daly, Pierpaolo Maisano Delser, Victoria E. Mullin, Amelie Scheu, Valeria Mattiangeli, Matthew D. Teasdale, Andrew J. Hare, Joachim Burger, Marta Pereira Verdugo, Matthew J. Collins, Ron Kehati, Cevdet Merih Erek, Guy Bar-Oz, François Pompanon, Tristan Cumer, Canan Çakırlar, Azadeh Fatemeh Mohaseb, Delphine Decruyenaere, Hossein Davoudi, Özlem Çevik, Gary Rollefson, Jean-Denis Vigne, Roya Khazaeli, Homa Fathi, Sanaz Beizaee Doost, Roghayeh Rahimi Sorkhani, Ali Akbar Vahdati, Eberhard W. Sauer, Hossein Azizi Kharanaghi, Sepideh Maziar, Boris Gasparian, Ron Pinhasi, Louise Martin, David Orton, Benjamin S. Arbuckle, Norbert Benecke, Andrea Manica, Liora Kolska Horwitz, Marjan Mashkour, Daniel G. Bradley
Journal Article | Science Date: 5-Jul-2018 DOI: 10.1126/science.aas9411
The evolutionary history of dogs in the Americas
Máire Ní Leathlobhair, Angela R. Perri, Evan K. Irving-Pease, Kelsey E. Witt, Anna Linderholm, James Haile, Ophelie Lebrasseur, Carly Ameen, Jeffrey Blick, Adam R. Boyko, Selina Brace, Yahaira Nunes Cortes, Susan J. Crockford, Alison Devault, Evangelos A. Dimopoulos, Morley Eldridge, Jacob Enk, Shyam Gopalakrishnan, Kevin Gori, Vaughan Grimes, Eric Guiry, Anders J. Hansen, Ardern Hulme-Beaman, John Johnson, Andrew Kitchen, Aleksei K. Kasparov, Young-Mi Kwon, Pavel A. Nikolskiy, Carlos Peraza Lope, Aurélie Manin, Terrance Martin, Michael Meyer, Kelsey Noack Myers, Mark Omura, Jean-Marie Rouillard, Elena Y. Pavlova, Paul Sciulli, Mikkel-Holger S. Sinding, Andrea Strakova, Varvara V. Ivanova, Christopher Widga, Eske Willerslev, Vladimir V. Pitulko, Ian Barnes, M. Thomas P. Gilbert, Keith M. Dobney, Ripan S. Malhi, Elizabeth P. Murchison, Greger Larson, Laurent A. F. Frantz
Journal Article | Science Date: 5-Jul-2018 DOI: 10.1126/science.aao4776