Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chinese pigs 'direct descendants' of first domesticated breeds

Date:
April 20, 2010
Source:
Durham University
Summary:
Modern-day Chinese pigs are directly descended from ancient pigs which were the first to be domesticated in the region 10,000 years ago, a new archaeological and genetic study has revealed.

Several species of native wild boar are found in the Philippines, though all domestic pigs, including this one, were originally domesticated in East Asia and introduced by incoming farmers.
Credit: Image courtesy of Michael Herrara

Modern-day Chinese pigs are directly descended from ancient pigs which were the first to be domesticated in the region 10,000 years ago, a new archaeological and genetic study has revealed.

Related Articles


An international team of researchers, led by Durham University (UK) and the China Agricultural University, in Beijing, say their findings suggest a difference between patterns of early domestication and movement of pigs in Europe and parts of East Asia.

The research, published April 19 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, looked at the DNA sequences of more than 1,500 modern and 18 ancient pigs.

Lead author Dr Greger Larson, in the Department of Archaeology, at Durham University, said: "Previous studies of European domestic pigs demonstrated that the first pigs in Europe were imported from the Near East. Those first populations were then completely replaced by pigs descended from European wild boar.

"However, despite the occurrence of genetically distinct populations of wild boar throughout modern China, these populations have not been incorporated into domestic stocks.

"The earliest known Chinese domestic pigs have a direct connection with modern Chinese breeds, suggesting a long, unbroken history of pigs and people in this part of East Asia."

The finding is part of a wider research project into pig domestication and early human migration in East Asia.

The study also uncovered multiple centres of pig domestication and a complex picture of human migration across East Asia.

After pigs were incorporated into domestic stocks in Southeast Asia, the animals then migrated with people south and east to New Guinea, eventually reaching the remote Pacific, including Hawai'i, Tahiti, and Fiji, the researchers said.

The DNA analysis also found that wild boar were probably domesticated in many places including India and peninsular Southeast Asia several thousand years ago.

As current interpretations of archaeological records in these regions do not yet support these findings, the group has referred to them as "cryptic domestications."

They suggest that additional archaeological digs and new analytical techniques may help to resolve the problem.

Dr Larson added: "Our evidence suggests an intriguingly complex pattern of local domestication and regional turnover and calls for a reappraisal of the archaeological record across South and East Asia.

"We may even find additional centres of pig domestication when we take a closer look at the picture in that part of the world."

The research is part of an ongoing research project based at Durham University which aims to re-evaluate the archaeological evidence for pig domestication and husbandry and explore the role of animals in reconstructing ancient human migration, trade and exchange networks.

The DNA testing was carried out at the China Agricultural University and was analysed at Durham University and Uppsala University, Sweden.

The research was funded by the National Basic Research Programme of China and the National Key Technology R&D Programme of China.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Durham University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Greger Larson, Ranran Liu, Xingbo Zhao, Jing Yuan, Dorian Fuller, Loukas Barton, Keith Dobney, Qipeng Fan, Zhiliang Gu, Xiao-Hui Liu, Yunbing Luo, Peng Lv, Leif Andersson, and Ning Li. Patterns of East Asian pig domestication, migration, and turnover revealed by modern and ancient DNA. PNAS, April 19, 2010 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0912264107

Cite This Page:

Durham University. "Chinese pigs 'direct descendants' of first domesticated breeds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100419150947.htm>.
Durham University. (2010, April 20). Chinese pigs 'direct descendants' of first domesticated breeds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100419150947.htm
Durham University. "Chinese pigs 'direct descendants' of first domesticated breeds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100419150947.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) Stanford University wants to unlock the secrets of the player piano. Researchers are restoring and studying self-playing pianos and the music rolls that recorded major composers performing their own work. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Domestication Might've Been Bad For Horses

Domestication Might've Been Bad For Horses

Newsy (Dec. 16, 2014) A group of scientists looked at the genetics behind the domestication of the horse and showed how human manipulation changed horses' DNA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet Manuscripts to Go on Sale

Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet Manuscripts to Go on Sale

AFP (Dec. 16, 2014) A collection of rare manuscripts by composers Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet are due to go on sale at auction on December 17. Duration: 00:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Old Ship Records to Shed Light on Arctic Ice Loss

Old Ship Records to Shed Light on Arctic Ice Loss

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 15, 2014) Researchers are looking to the past to gain a clearer picture of what the future holds for ice in the Arctic. A project to analyse and digitize ship logs dating back to the 1850's aims to lengthen the timeline of recorded ice data. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins