Microevolutionary Dynamics of Chicken Genomes under Divergent Selection for Adiposity

Hui Zhang, Qiqi Liang, Ning Wang, Qigui Wang, Li Leng, Jie Mao, Yuxiang Wang, Shouzhi Wang, Jiyang Zhang, Hao Liang, Xun Zhou, Yumao Li, Zhiping Cao, Peng Luan, Zhipeng Wang, Hui Yuan, Zhiquan Wang, Xuming Zhou, Susan J. Lamont, Yang DaRuiqiang Li, Shilin Tian, Zhiqiang Du, Hui Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Decades of artificial selection have significantly improved performance and efficiency of animal production systems. However, little is known about the microevolution of genomes due to intensive breeding. Using whole-genome sequencing, we document dynamic changes of chicken genomes under divergent selection on adiposity over 19 generations. Directional selection reduced within-line but increased between-line genomic differences. We observed that artificial selection tended to result in recruitment of preexisting variations of genes related to adipose tissue growth. In addition, novel mutations contributed to divergence of phenotypes under selection but contributed significantly less than preexisting genomic variants. Integration of 15 generations genome sequencing, genome-wide association study, and multi-omics data further identified that genes involved in signaling pathways important to adipogenesis, such as autophagy and lysosome (URI1, MBL2), neural system (CHAT), and endocrine (PCSK1) pathways, were under strong selection. Our study provides insights into the microevolutionary dynamics of domestic animal genomes under artificial selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101193
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 26 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Genome Sequencing Technology Platform at Novogene for performing the sequencing and suppling computer resources. The project was supported by the National 863 Project of China (No. 2013AA102501 ), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31472088 ), and the China Agricultural Research System (No. CARS-41 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s)


  • Biological Sciences
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genomics

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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