Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Dec 9;111(49):17564-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1411882111. Epub 2014 Nov 24.

Early Holocene chicken domestication in northern China.

Author information

1
National Engineering Laboratory for Animal Breeding, Ministry of Agricultural Key Laboratory of Animal Genetics, Breeding, and Reproduction, College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China;
2
Hebei Provincial Institute of Cultural Relic, Shijiazhuang 050031, China;
3
Xushui County Office for Preservation of Ancient Monuments, Xushui 072550, China;
4
Ancient DNA Laboratory, Research Center for Chinese Frontier Archaeology, College of Life Science, Jilin University, Changchun 130023, China;
5
Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Institute for Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, 14476 Potsdam, Germany; and Department of Biology, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, United Kingdom michi@palaeo.eu zhxb@cau.edu.cn.
6
National Engineering Laboratory for Animal Breeding, Ministry of Agricultural Key Laboratory of Animal Genetics, Breeding, and Reproduction, College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China; michi@palaeo.eu zhxb@cau.edu.cn.

Abstract

Chickens represent by far the most important poultry species, yet the number, locations, and timings of their domestication have remained controversial for more than a century. Here we report ancient mitochondrial DNA sequences from the earliest archaeological chicken bones from China, dating back to ∼ 10,000 B.P. The results clearly show that all investigated bones, including the oldest from the Nanzhuangtou site, are derived from the genus Gallus, rather than any other related genus, such as Phasianus. Our analyses also suggest that northern China represents one region of the earliest chicken domestication, possibly dating as early as 10,000 y B.P. Similar to the evidence from pig domestication, our results suggest that these early domesticated chickens contributed to the gene pool of modern chicken populations. Moreover, our results support the idea that multiple members of the genus Gallus, specifically Gallus gallus and Gallus sonneratii contributed to the gene pool of the modern domestic chicken. Our results provide further support for the growing evidence of an early mixed agricultural complex in northern China.

KEYWORDS:

ancient DNA; chicken; domestication; species origin

PMID:
25422439
PMCID:
PMC4267363
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1411882111
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center