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Ancient genome reveal goat domestication since 8,500 BC

Penelitian - International scientists have sequenced the genome of ancient goat bones from Fertile Crescent where animals were first domesticated around 8,500 BC. The team, led by Trinity College Dublin, reveals a history of 10,000 years of local farming practices that feature the domestication of wild animals as a breeding commodity and early selection.

Daniel Bradley of Trinity College Dublin and colleagues analyzed genetics including 83 mitochondrial sequences and the overall genome data from 51 goats. This animal has been a human partner since 8,500 BC as a source of meat, milk and skin. The earliest evidence for domestic goats in Southwest Asia where farming and animal grazing begins.

Penelitian Ancient genome reveal goat domestication since 8,500 BC

Local hunters target wild goats and this local practice ultimately becomes the basis for the management and maintenance of goats today. However, understanding the past by examining modern genetics is experiencing difficulties because of thousands of years of migration and mixes.

"Just like humans, modern goat ancestors are crumpled nets of different strands of the ancestors. The only way to decipher these and open the past is through the genome sequences of the ancient animals as a molecular time journey," Bradley said.

The researchers mapped an early domestication pattern that shows the degree of genetic differentiation in goats across Fertile Crescent and surrounding areas. The ancient samples provide an understanding of the genetic diversity of different goat populations in the past and reconstruct the history of early domestication.

"Domestication of goats is a mosaic rather than a single process with the continuous recruitment of the local wild population. This process produces a unique genetic pool that evolves over time and still characterizes different goat populations in Asia, Europe and Africa today," Pierpaolo Delser of Trinity College Dublin.

Livestock has changed the culture of humans and humans has also formed cattle into hundreds of species. The earliest genetic findings of this process also show that ancient farmers were interested in the appearance of animals. There are also indications that ancient animals have been selected for enzymes that provide better tolerance for toxins, fertility and size.

"The whole sequence of genomes from the past allows us to directly analyze some of the earliest sheeps. At least 8,000 years ago the shepherds appreciated the color of the feathers based on the selection signal on the pigmentation gene," says Kevin Daly of Trinity College Dublin.

Journal : Kevin G. Daly et al. Ancient goat genomes reveal mosaic domestication in the Fertile Crescent, Science, 06 Jul 2018, DOI:10.1126/science.aas9411