The Molecular and Cellular Basis Study
Domestic animals are excellent models for genetic studies of phenotypic evolution. They have evolved genetic adaptations to a new environment, the farm, and have been subjected to strong human-driven selection leading to remarkable phenotypic changes in morphology, physiology and behaviour. Identifying the genetic changes underlying these developments provides new insight into general mechanisms by which genetic variation shapes phenotypic diversity. Genomic technologies for domestic animal species have revolutionized the study of animal domestication, allowing an increasingly detailed description of the genetic changes accompanying domestication and breed development.
Advances in sequencing technologies allow whole genomes to be sequenced more economically and efficiently than ever before, providing an excellent opportunity to discover numerous genetic polymorphisms in a genome and for quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis and marker-assisted selection. Therefore, I will conduct a whole-genome analysis to examine the genetic and genomic features of the selection line for high feed efficiency and control line for Tsaiya duck (菜鴨). This study aims to identify genes that show evidence of recent artificial selection on high feed efficiency during duck domestication. I will apply population genomic approaches to the study of genetic changes in the Tsaiya duck by providing a comprehensive genome map of directional selection by detecting selective sweeps using an FST-based approach that detects directional selection in lineages leading to the selection line and using a haplotype-based test that detects ongoing selective sweeps within the line.