Guo Y, Lillie M, Zan Y, Beranger J, Martin A, Honaker CF, Siegel PB, Carlborg Ö
Poult. Sci. 98 (11) 5272-5280 [2019-11-01; online 2019-07-17]
Crossing of populations has been, and still is, a central component in domestication and breed and variety formation. It is a way for breeders to utilize heterosis and to introduce new genetic variation into existing plant and livestock populations. During the mid-19th century, several chicken breeds that had been introduced to America from Europe and Asia became the founders for those formed in the USA. Historical records about the genealogy of these populations are often unclear and inconsistent. Here, we used genomics in an attempt to describe the ancestry of the White Plymouth Rock (WPR) chicken. In total, 150 chickens from the WPR and 8 other stocks that historical records suggested contributed to its formation were whole-genome re-sequenced. The admixture analyses of the autosomal and sex chromosomes showed that the WPR was likely founded as a cross between a paternal lineage that was primarily Dominique, and a maternal lineage where Black Java and Cochin contributed in essentially equal proportions. These results were consistent and provided quantification with the historical records that they were the main contributors to the WPR. The genomic analyses also revealed genome-wide contributions (<10% each) by Brahma, Langshan, and Black Minorca. When viewed on an individual chromosomal basis, contributions varied considerably among stocks.