Over a Thousand Years of Evolutionary History of Domestic Geese from Russian Archaeological Sites, Analysed Using Ancient DNA
Honka, J.; Heino, M.T.; Kvist, L.; Askeyev, I.V.; Shaymuratova, D.N.; Askeyev, O.V.; Askeyev, A.O.; Heikkinen, M.E.; Searle, J.B.; Aspi, J.
The European domestic goose is a widely farmed species known to have descended from the wild greylag goose (Anser anser). However, the evolutionary history of this domesticate is still poorly known. Ancient DNA studies have been useful for many species, but there has been little such work on geese. We have studied temporal genetic variation among domestic goose specimens excavated from Russian archaeological sites (4th–18th centuries) using a 204 base pair fragment of the mitochondrial control region. Specimens fell into three different genetic clades: the domestic D-haplogroup, the F-haplogroup that includes both wild and domestic geese, and a clade comprising another species, the taiga bean goose. Most of the subfossil geese carried typical domestic D-haplotypes. The domestication status of the geese carrying F-haplotypes is less certain, as the haplotypes identified were not present among modern domestic geese and could represent wild geese (misclassified as domestics), introgression from wild geese, or local domestication events. The bones of taiga bean goose were most probably misidentified as domestic goose but the domestication of bean goose or hybridization with domestic goose is also possible. Samples from the 4th to 10th century were clearly differentiated from the later time periods due to a haplotype that was found only in this early period, but otherwise no temporal or geographical variation in haplotype frequencies was apparent.
Includes supplementary materials
This research was funded by Finnish Cultural Foundation grant number 00170299 and by the University of Oulu.
Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
greylag goose; Anser anser; mitochondrial DNA; control region; D-loop; domestication; Medieval Period
Previously Published As
Genes (2018), 9, 367