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Darwinian DetectivesRevealing the Natural History of Genes and Genomes$
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Norman A. Johnson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195306750

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306750.001.0001

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Who Let the Dogs in?

Who Let the Dogs in?

The Domestication of Animals and Plants

(p.153) 11 Who Let the Dogs in?
Darwinian Detectives

Norman A. Johnson

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the timing of and evolutionary forces involved in our domestication of animals and plants. How many and which genes were involved? How long ago did these changes occur? Can we detect positive selection at the genetic loci involved? This chapter focuses on dogs and maize domestication. Dogs are derived exclusively from wolves, but are not wolves. Contrary to some early studies, it is now clear that dogs evolved only about 15,000 years ago and arose multiple times. The chapter also discusses results from the recently completed dog genome project. The timing and location of maize domestication are also discussed, as well as one gene that may have played a role in morphological changes as maize became domesticated. It concludes with a discussion about how patterns of human genetic variation may have been affected during the transition from a hunter-gatherer to an agriculture-based lifestyle.

Keywords:   agriculture, dogs, dog genome, domestication, human genetic variation, maize

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