Abstract / Description of output
BACKGROUND: In poultry, the population structure of local breeds is usually complex mainly due to unrecorded breeding. Local chicken breeds offer an interesting proxy to understand the complexity of population structure in the context of human-mediated development of diverse morphologies and varieties. We studied 37 traditional Dutch chicken breeds to investigate population structure and the corresponding genomic impact using whole-genome sequence data.
RESULTS: Looking at the genetic differences between breeds, the Dutch chicken breeds demonstrated a complex and admixed subdivided structure. The dissection of this complexity highlighted the influence of selection adhering to management purposes, as well as the role of geographic distance within subdivided breed clusters. Identification of signatures of genetic differentiation revealed genomic regions that are associated with diversifying phenotypic selection between breeds, including dwarf size (bantam) and feather color. In addition, with a case study of a recently developed bantam breed developed by crossbreeding, we provide a genomic perspective on the effect of crossbreeding.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates the complex population structure of local traditional Dutch chicken, and provides insight into the genomic basis and the factors involved in the formation of this complexity.