Research Topic

Early Domestication and Artificial Selection of Animals

About this Research Topic

The domestication of several key farm animals during the early Holocene initiated the transition from the hunter-gatherer lifestyle to food production. Early domestication usually started when biological characteristics in animals that met the demands of humans were identified. Over the thousands of years since their initial domestication, animals have been translocated worldwide and selected intensively, which has resulted in substantial genomic adaption of various traits such as tameness, growth, reproduction, etc. Beyond the general interest in animal domestication, numerous genetic loci potentially selected for by humans have been detected to contribute to a full understanding of early domestication and artificial selection. However, the original and selective signals of domestication have been blurred by translocation of animals as well as by introgression of domesticated and wild animals. Therefore, when, where, why, and how the different characteristics have been selected, along with the basis of the phenotypic differentiation and environmental adaptation, are far from clear.

This Research Topic focuses on the genetic basis of early domestication and artificial selection of animals and their effects on breed formation and phenotypic diversity. The intention of this Topic is to unravel the spatial and temporal histories of the appearance and spread of domesticated animals in a unique and unprecedented way, including molecular biology, population genetics, evolutionary biology, ancient DNA, epigenetics, etc. This Topic also tries to uncover the genetic basis for some biological characteristics that make animal apt to be domesticated. Beyond that, we would like to examine the genetic regulation underlying characteristics such as domestic animal behavior, biorhythm, nervous system, growth, production performance, etc., which contribute to genomic adaption, domestication, and selection. Finally, several functional selection signals/breeding markers contributing to phenotypic differentiation and practical breeding are expected to be determined by population genetics, functional genomics, and any other appropriate methodologies. In summary, the goal of this Research Topic is to collect extensive genetic evidence and address questions of when, where, why, and how extant animals have been domesticated.

Original Research and Review papers on the following themes are welcome:
• Genetic evidence for the time, place, or species origin of domestic animals.
• Genetic determination of early domestication.
• Identification of genomic selection signals and selective sweeps that have contributed to the long-term domestication and selection in the modern breeds.
• Genetic contributions of coding mutations to phenotypic differentiation and environmental adaptation of domestic animals.
• Transcriptional regulatory elements and epigenetic modifications driving genomic adaptive to domestication and selection of domesticated animals.
• Genomic analyses on animal inbreeding and the genetic load of domesticated populations and their wild relative species.
• Application of functional breeding markers that contribute to the practical breeding system by multiple means.


Keywords: animal, domestication, artificial selection, breed formation, adaptive evolution


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The domestication of several key farm animals during the early Holocene initiated the transition from the hunter-gatherer lifestyle to food production. Early domestication usually started when biological characteristics in animals that met the demands of humans were identified. Over the thousands of years since their initial domestication, animals have been translocated worldwide and selected intensively, which has resulted in substantial genomic adaption of various traits such as tameness, growth, reproduction, etc. Beyond the general interest in animal domestication, numerous genetic loci potentially selected for by humans have been detected to contribute to a full understanding of early domestication and artificial selection. However, the original and selective signals of domestication have been blurred by translocation of animals as well as by introgression of domesticated and wild animals. Therefore, when, where, why, and how the different characteristics have been selected, along with the basis of the phenotypic differentiation and environmental adaptation, are far from clear.

This Research Topic focuses on the genetic basis of early domestication and artificial selection of animals and their effects on breed formation and phenotypic diversity. The intention of this Topic is to unravel the spatial and temporal histories of the appearance and spread of domesticated animals in a unique and unprecedented way, including molecular biology, population genetics, evolutionary biology, ancient DNA, epigenetics, etc. This Topic also tries to uncover the genetic basis for some biological characteristics that make animal apt to be domesticated. Beyond that, we would like to examine the genetic regulation underlying characteristics such as domestic animal behavior, biorhythm, nervous system, growth, production performance, etc., which contribute to genomic adaption, domestication, and selection. Finally, several functional selection signals/breeding markers contributing to phenotypic differentiation and practical breeding are expected to be determined by population genetics, functional genomics, and any other appropriate methodologies. In summary, the goal of this Research Topic is to collect extensive genetic evidence and address questions of when, where, why, and how extant animals have been domesticated.

Original Research and Review papers on the following themes are welcome:
• Genetic evidence for the time, place, or species origin of domestic animals.
• Genetic determination of early domestication.
• Identification of genomic selection signals and selective sweeps that have contributed to the long-term domestication and selection in the modern breeds.
• Genetic contributions of coding mutations to phenotypic differentiation and environmental adaptation of domestic animals.
• Transcriptional regulatory elements and epigenetic modifications driving genomic adaptive to domestication and selection of domesticated animals.
• Genomic analyses on animal inbreeding and the genetic load of domesticated populations and their wild relative species.
• Application of functional breeding markers that contribute to the practical breeding system by multiple means.


Keywords: animal, domestication, artificial selection, breed formation, adaptive evolution


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

23 July 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

23 July 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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