Navigation Links
Scientific breakthrough in genetic studies of animal domestication
Date:3/10/2010

The domestication of animals and plants is the most important technological innovation during human history. This genetic transformation of wild species has occurred as humans have used individuals carrying favorable gene variants for breeding purposes. In the current issue of Nature an international team led by researchers at Uppsala University has revealed some of the secrets underlying the remarkable development of the domestic chicken.

The domestic chicken has in recent years become the most important and cost-effective source of animal protein world-wide. In the beginning of the 20th century specialized layer (egg-producing) and broiler (meat-producing) chickens were developed. The approach has been remarkably successful and has led to huge improvements in productivity.

"The strategy to study four different populations of layer chickens as well as four broiler populations allowed us to reveal genetic changes of crucial importance for chicken domestication in general as well as changes that were essential for the development of layers or broilers", says Leif Andersson who coordinated the study.

In 2004, a draft genome sequence of the chicken was established by sequencing a single female red junglefowl, the wild ancestor of chickens. The task required a major economic investment (millions of US dollars) and a large international team of scientists. In the current study the researchers have used new sequencing technologies and a modest budget to analyze pools of individuals representing eight different populations of the domestic chicken and a red junglefowl population.

"This is the first study ever where the genetic diversity within and between populations are examined across the whole genome", says Michael Zody, who did his PhD partially on this project and is now a researcher at the Broad Institute. "The new sequencing technologies allow us to address important biological questions that were impossible to study just a few years ago".

A selective sweep takes place when a favorable mutation becomes fixed in a population. This happens in all species during the course of evolution and it happens in domestic animals as a consequence of human-driven selection for favored traits. One of the most interesting findings in this study was a striking selective sweep at the TSHR gene that codes for the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor. In vertebrates, this protein has a key role in metabolic regulation but also in determining the timing of reproduction as a response to changes in day length, a trait that is strictly controlled in most wild animals but which is drastically altered in domestic chickens that can reproduce all year around.

"Our discovery that every domestic chicken that we have studied representing populations from Sweden to China carry a mutant form of the TSHR protein strongly suggests that this genetic change was an important step in the evolution of the domestic chicken", says Leif Andersson.

Another very convincing selective sweep was observed in broiler chickens and involved the TBC1D1 gene, a gene that has previously been associated with obesity in humans and the TBC1D1 protein is involved in the regulation of glucose uptake in muscle cells.

"Our study shows that billions of broiler chickens worldwide carry a mutant form of the TBC1D1 gene and we are now very eager to identify the causative mutation at this locus and to reveal the molecular mechanism by which it impacts growth", says Carl-Johan Rubin who was responsible for the bioinformatic analysis of selective sweeps.

The study is a breakthrough as regards genetic studies of domestic animals.

"Our study has direct implications for animal breeding and enhances the importance of the domestic chicken as a model organism for biomedical research since we can so effectively reveal genes associated with changes in phenotypic traits", concludes Leif Andersson.


'/>"/>

Contact: Leif Andersson
Leif.Andersson@imbim.uu.se
46-705-144-904
Uppsala University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Orameds Chief Scientific Officer, Miriam Kidron, Ph.D., Chosen to Lecture at the Third International Conference on Advanced Technologies and Treatments for Diabetes in Basel, Switzerland
2. Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) Selects Scopus Custom Data for Citation Linkage Analysis Between Scientific Articles and Patents
3. Joint BioEnergy Institute Selects Surety's AbsoluteProof to Protect the Integrity and Legally Defend the Authenticity of its Scientific Intellectual Property
4. Boston Scientific Announces Completion of $2 Billion Senior Notes Offering
5. Science Education Experts Discuss Solutions for Global Competitiveness at Scientific American Forum
6. Vivakor Announces Additions to Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board
7. Advanced Cell Technologys Chief Scientific Officer, Robert Lanza, Opening Plenary Speaker at the 3rd International Conference on Cell Therapy
8. WaferGen Names Christopher Sears, Ph.D., Architect of High-Value Molecular Diagnostics and Computational Biology Platforms, to Companys Scientific Advisory Board
9. Star Scientific Plans Worldwide Marketing and Sales of CigRx(TM) Nutraceutical in Partnership with inVentiv Health
10. Cytochroma Appoints Dr. John Cunningham to its Scientific Advisory Board
11. DOE to Explore Scientific Cloud Computing at Argonne, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. ... Cancer Research, London (ICR) and University ... SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma ... MUK nine . The University of Leeds ... partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has ... The bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to ... period. , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... 10, 2017 International research firm Parks Associates announced ... at the TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in ... residential home security market and how smart safety and security products impact ... Parks Associates: Smart Home ... "The residential security market has ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... DIEGO , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech ... biological mechanism by which its ProCell stem cell ... critical limb ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment ... amount of limbs saved as compared to standard ... the molecule HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 The ... Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, ... Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... 2016 and is projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion ... and 2022. The base year considered for the study ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 24, 2017 The Controller General of Immigration from ... Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the ... Continue Reading ... ... Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology (Touch-based ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD ... 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):