Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (4): 21457.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2021457

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Methods and research progress on the origin of animal domestication

Xinyu Cai1, Xiaowei Mao2,*(), Yiqiang Zhao1,*()   

  1. 1 College of Biological Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193
    2 Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100044
  • Received:2021-11-15 Accepted:2022-02-10 Online:2022-04-20 Published:2022-02-28
  • Contact: Xiaowei Mao,Yiqiang Zhao


Background & Aim: Domesticated animal coevolved with human for thousands of years. During the process of domestication, significant changes on phenotype and behavior traits have been taken place on animals, and changes are accompanied with human civilization. As one of the important topics in biological research, studying on animal domestication will not only extend our understanding on genetic diversity and adaptation, but also help to dissect the underlying molecular mechanisms on complex traits. This article focuses on the initiation of animal domestication.

Progress: Firstly, we summarized the timing and locations where domestication happens, as well as domestication pathways and driving factors, spreading and breed formation after domestication. Secondly, we introduced classical and latest advancements, pros and cons, and future directions of the analysis strategies of animal domestication in both archaeology and molecular and population genetics areas. Finally, by integrating various evidences we introduced the research progress on the origin of domestication of pigs (Sus scrofa f. domestica) and chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) which were domesticated in China, as well as other major livestocks.

Conclusion: This article provides a comprehensive perspective and new ideas for the study on the origin of animal domestication.

Key words: origin of domestication, zooarchaeology, molecular and population genetics, genetic similarity, genetic diversity