View Full Version : Origin and spread of domesticated animals/crops

02-09-2014, 04:27 PM
I figured it would be a good idea to start a thread on domestication and spread of crops/animals.

These are the ones I am knowledgeable about.

Bos Taurus, goats and sheep- Zagros+Taurus
Bos indicus/Zebu-Indus valley or region NW of it
Chicken-Indus Valley?
Pigs-Europe/Anatolia? China?
Camels-Southern Iran or Southern Levant?
Bactrian Camel-Central Asia
Dogs-S/SE Asia?

Wheat-Levant or Hilly Flanks?
Rice-South China, maybe secondary domestication of Chinese wild rice in Upper Ganges plains
Rye- Anatolia?

Cotton-Indus Valley

Mangos-Eastern India + SE Asia
Eggplant-N. India
Cornelian cherry-South Caucasus + N. Iran?
Fava Bean-N. Africa?
Tamirind-Coastal Africa

Sugarcane-S/SE Asia?

02-09-2014, 08:24 PM
Leave it to a great great grandson of Ireland to mention this one...

Potato--"The potato was originally believed to have been domesticated independently in multiple locations,[4] but later genetic testing of the wide variety of cultivars and wild species proved a single origin for potatoes in the area of present-day southern Peru and extreme northwestern Bolivia (from a species in the Solanum brevicaule complex), where they were domesticated 7,000–10,000 years ago. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potato )

Don't remember if I told this story before, it comes from a Kincardine Historical society publication and is about my furthest known Y line ancestor, Patrick Whealen (1816-1874)..the one that moved his family from Ireland to Canada
...anyway, some time in the 1860's, on a hundred acre 'bush farm' (clawed out of thick premium forest wilderness in western Ontario) my GGgpa was hoeing his 'beloved' potato's, and at the last second, realized a big black bear was stalking him from behind...My GGGpa raised up his hoe ( which was more like a medieval pike type thing, than today's little flimsy hoes) and according to the book and family letters, killed the bear with one blow to its head

Guess that's what you get when you mess with an Irishman's 'taters.


02-10-2014, 08:12 PM
The red jungle fowl, the supposed ancestor of the domesticated chicken, roams freely in these areas:


Some passages from this study: Storey et al (2012), "Investigating the Global Dispersal of Chickens in Prehistory Using Ancient Mitochondrial DNA Signatures" (http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0039171#pone.0 039171-Underhill1)

Beginning at least 5,400 years ago [1] the chicken (Gallus gallus) was domesticated through the purposeful segregation and taming of a few individuals acquired from wild Junglefowl populations in Southeast Asia. Domestication of the fowl is thought, based on archaeological and historical evidence, to have occurred in multiple, independent centers. Chickens were likely domesticated from wild Red Junglefowl [2]–[4], though some have suggested possible genetic contributions from other Junglefowl species [5], [6]. The cultural and religious significance of chickens has contributed to their global distribution [7] and descendants of early domestic fowl have been dispersed around the globe in overlapping waves and by multiple agents over at least two millennia.

Archaeological research has identified centres of chicken domestication in India and China; both within the natural range of wild Junglefowl [21], [22]. The oldest G. gallus remains have been recovered from 12,000 year old deposits at Nanzhuang in Northern China but, due to their size, the bones are not considered to represent domesticated forms [1]. The earliest undisputed domestic chicken remains are bones associated with a date of approximately 5400 BC from the Chishan site, in the Hebei province of China [1]. In the Ganges region of India Red Junglefowl were being exploited by humans as early as 7,000 years ago [23]. No domestic chickens older than 4,000 years have been identified in the Indus Valley, and the antiquity of chickens recovered from excavations at Mohenjodaro is still debated [24], [25]. Little archaeological evidence is available for early agricultural periods in Burma, Malaysia, and Thailand [26] so it is unclear if independent domestication centres will also be identified in these regions as research progresses.

Thailand, an area which is within the natural range of Junglefowl, has previously been identified as a domestication centre [3]. The earliest G. gallus samples to be identified in Thai archaeological contexts are dated to ca. 4000 B.P. [46]. The cultural importance of chickens in the region is highlighted by the intentional interment of chickens with human burials in the archaeological sites of Non Nok Tha and Ban Na Di [46].

Chicken appears to have been domesticated where the red jungle fowl naturally occurs which is in Eastern India (around the Ganges), Southeast Asia (perhaps Thailand), and parts of China.

02-11-2014, 01:35 PM
But modern domestic chicken are supposed to be red and grey jungefowl hybrids. So the Indus valley seems like a natural and likely place to have that hyrbridization occur (we know the Indus valley was in contact with Central+SW India (this is where they got their silkworms from) and the Ganges region which are part of the range of grey and red jungefowl).

02-12-2014, 09:09 AM
It appears that the Indus Valley is where modern chickens spread from to the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and eventually the Americas (after the Polynesian introductions of course). The red and grey jungle fowls likely hybridized in India with multiple domestication centers in India, Southeast Asia, and China, whose relationships with one another are uncertain, but with the Indian hybridized jungle fowl being the most genetically influential in modern chickens today. The modern domesticated chicken is mostly the red jungle fowl with a slight hybridization with the grey jungle fowl.

07-12-2019, 01:02 PM
How cow genomes have moo-ved
Cattle were domesticated ∼10,000 years ago, but analysis of modern breeds has not elucidated their origins. Verdugo et al. performed genome-wide analysis of 67 ancient Near Eastern Bos taurus DNA samples. Several populations of ancient aurochs were progenitors of domestic cows. These genetic lineages mixed ∼4000 years ago in a region around the Indus Valley. Interestingly, mitochondrial analysis indicated that genetic material likely derived from arid-adapted Bos indicus (zebu) bulls was introduced by introgression


11-10-2019, 09:55 AM
Here's what Wikipedia says about oranges (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_(fruit)#History):

The sweet orange is not a wild fruit,[15] having arisen in domestication from a cross between a non-pure mandarin orange and a hybrid pomelo that had a substantial mandarin component. Since its chloroplast DNA is that of pomelo, it was likely the hybrid pomelo, perhaps a BC1 pomelo backcross, that was the maternal parent of the first orange.[7][38] Based on genomic analysis, the relative proportions of the ancestral species in the sweet orange is approximately 42% pomelo and 58% mandarin.[39] All varieties of the sweet orange descend from this original cross, differing only by mutations selected for during agricultural propagation.[38] Sweet oranges have a distinct origin from the bitter orange, which arose independently, perhaps in the wild, from a cross between pure mandarin and pomelo parents.[38] The earliest mention of the sweet orange in Chinese literature dates from 314 B.C.[2]