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Nat Rev Genet. 2003 Nov;4(11):900-10.

DNA markers reveal the complexity of livestock domestication.

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Cardiff School of Biosciences, Main Building, Cathay Park, PO Box 915, Cardiff CF10 3TL, UK.


A series of recent genetic studies has revealed the remarkably complex picture of domestication in both New World and Old World livestock. By comparing mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences of modern breeds with their potential wild and domestic ancestors, we have gained new insights into the timing and location of domestication events that produced the farm animals of today. The real surprise has been the high number of domestication events and the diverse locations in which they took place - factors which could radically change our approach to conserving livestock biodiversity resources in the future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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