Navigation Links
Dinner-Table Turkeys Differ Greatly From Their Ancestors

THURSDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The turkey that makes a special guest appearance on your Thanksgiving dinner table is genetically very distinct from its wild-roaming ancestors, researchers say.

A team at the U.S. Department of Agriculture compared the genetic diversity of modern domestic turkeys and the ancestral wild turkey from Mexico and were surprised by what they found.

Not only do domestic turkeys have less genetic variation than their wild counterpart, they also have less genetic variation than other livestock breeds such as domestic chickens or pigs, according to the study published recently in the journal BMC Genomics.

The reduced genetic variation in domestic turkeys affects body size and breast muscle development, features that are of course important to holiday diners.

"Few people know that the commercial turkeys served at Thanksgiving descended from Mexico, where they were discovered during the Spanish Conquest and transported to Europe," study senior author Julie Long, a research physiologist with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, said in a Smithsonian Institution news release.

"During the next 100 years, Europeans created many different varieties of the domesticated turkey," Long explained. "It's important to assess the differences between ancient and modern domesticated turkeys in the event that some unforeseen problem might threaten the stability of the commercial turkey lines."

For this study, the researchers compared the genomes of several types of domestic turkeys and the genomes of three South Mexican wild turkeys that were collected in 1899 and became specimens at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

"It is often the case that selection in domestication reduces the level of variation," Rob Fleischer, head of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics, said in the news release.

"What did surprise us, however, is how well the ancient DNA from the three museum specimens worked to generate the genome sequences needed to determine the genetic variation and structure," he said. "These data and this approach show great promise for determining what genes were involved in the process of turkey domestication."

More information

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has more about wild turkeys.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Smithsonian Institution, news release, Nov. 19, 2012

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Study finds significant skull differences between closely linked groups
2. Study examines adverse effects among different radiation therapies for prostate cancer
3. Range of diagnostic spinal fluid tests needed to differentiate concurrent brain diseases
4. ALS patients differ on treatment choices in later phases of disease
5. Scripps Research scientists show how memory B cells stay in class to fight different infections
6. Scientists evaluate different antimicrobial metals for use in water filters
7. Men and women receive different fertility advice following cancer diagnosis
8. Infant Smarts Similar With Different Types of Formula: Study
9. Men and Women With Cancer May Receive Different Fertility Information
10. UK cyclists take different paths
11. Mayo Clinic study links healthy muscle mass to healthy bones, finds differences by gender
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Dinner-Table Turkeys Differ Greatly From Their Ancestors
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a ... area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a ... the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who ... , Research from reveals that behind the tendency to set ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those ... deal with these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol ... of Marne, Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone ... physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If ... at my other children and say he was going to kill them. If we ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm ... 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered ... Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... -- VMS Rehab Systems, Inc. ( ) reported today ... to build a strong and stable market for trading ... the OTC Markets-pink current trading platform. Explains ... seeing an anomaly in market trading activities that may ... Company, but shareholders and market players as well. I ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... FRANCISCO, Calif. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... ), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for ... unmet needs, today announced the closing of its ... of common stock, at the public offering price ... in the offering were offered by GBT. GBT ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 The Academy of Managed Care ... that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to more easily ... make formulary and coverage decisions, a move that addresses ... medicines. The recommendations address restrictions in the ... the drug label, a prohibition that hinders decision makers ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: