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Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to secure a more predictable supply of resources from that second group. The domestication of plants and animals was a major cultural innovation ranked in importance with the conquest of fire, the manufacturing of tools, and the development of verbal language.
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that fu ...

Charles Darwin
recognized the small number of traits that made domestic species different from their wild ancestors. He was also the first to recognize the difference between conscious
selective breeding Selective breeding (also called artificial selection) is the process by which humans use animal breeding Animal breeding is a branch of animal science Animal science (also bioscience) is described as "studying the biology Biology i ...
in which humans directly select for desirable traits, and unconscious selection where traits evolve as a by-product of
natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of peta ...
or from selection on other traits. There is a genetic difference between domestic and wild populations. There is also such a difference between the domestication traits that researchers believe to have been essential at the early stages of domestication, and the improvement traits that have appeared since the split between wild and domestic populations. Domestication traits are generally fixed within all domesticates, and were selected during the initial episode of domestication of that animal or plant, whereas improvement traits are present only in a proportion of domesticates, though they may be fixed in individual breeds or regional populations. The
dog The dog or domestic dog (''Canis familiaris'' or ''Canis lupus familiaris'') is a Domestication, domesticated descendant of the wolf which is characterized by an upturning tail. The dog Origin of the domestic dog, derived from an Pleistocene ...
was the first domesticated
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
, and was established across
Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a ...

Eurasia
before the end of the
Late Pleistocene The Late Pleistocene is an unofficial age in the international geologic timescale The geologic time scale (GTS) is a system of chronological datingChronological dating, or simply dating, is the process of attributing to an object or event ...
era, well before
cultivation Cultivation may refer to: * The state of having or expressing a good education (bildung), refinement (culture), refinement, culture, or high culture * Gardening * Agriculture, the cultivation and breeding of animals, plants and fungi * Fungiculture ...

cultivation
and before the domestication of other animals. The archaeological and genetic data suggest that long-term bidirectional
gene flow In population genetics Population genetics is a subfield of that deals with genetic differences within and between s, and is a part of . Studies in this branch of examine such phenomena as , , and . Population genetics was a vital ingredient ...

gene flow
between wild and domestic stocks – including
donkey The donkey or ass is a domestic animal This page gives a list of domestic animals, also including a list of domestication of animals, animals which are or may be currently undergoing the process of domestication and animals that have an exten ...
s,
horses The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a Domestication, domesticated odd-toed ungulate, one-toed ungulate, hoofed mammal. It belongs to the taxonomic family Equidae and is one of two Extant taxon, extant subspecies of wild horse, ''Equus ferus ...
, New and Old World
camelid Camelids are members of the biological family (biology), family Camelidae, the only currently living family in the suborder Tylopoda. The extant taxon, extant members of this group are: dromedary, dromedary camels, Bactrian camels, wild Bactrian c ...
s,
goat The domestic goat or simply goat (''Capra hircus'') is a domesticated species of typically kept as . It was from the (''C. aegagrus'') of and . The goat is a member of the animal family and the subfamily , meaning it is closely related ...

goat
s,
sheep Sheep (''Ovis aries'') are quadrupedal, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Like all ruminants, sheep are members of the order (biology), order Artiodactyla, the even-toed ungulates. Although the name ''sheep'' applies to many species ...

sheep
, and
pig The pig (''Sus domesticus''), often called swine, hog, or domestic pig when distinguishing from other members of the genus '' Sus'', is an omnivorous An omnivore () is an animal that has the ability to eat and survive on both plant and ani ...

pig
s – was common. Given its importance to humans and its value as a model of
evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...

evolution
ary and
demographic Demography (from prefix ''demo-'' from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period ...

demographic
change, domestication has attracted scientists from
archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance theory, substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better underst ...
,
paleontology Paleontology (), also spelled palaeontology or palæontology, is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes including, the start of the Holocene epoch (geology), epoch (roughly 11,700 years before present). It includes th ...
,
anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, ...
,
botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Ancient Greek wo ...

botany
,
zoology Zoology ()The pronunciation of zoology as is usually regarded as nonstandard, though it is not uncommon. is the branch of biology that studies the Animal, animal kingdom, including the anatomy, structure, embryology, evolution, Biological class ...
,
genetics Genetics is a branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, ...

genetics
, and the
environmental sciences Environmental science is an interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic disciplines into one activity (e.g., a research project). It draws knowledge from several othe ...
. Among
birds Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With ...

birds
, the major domestic species today is the
chicken The chicken (''Gallus gallus domesticus'') is a domestication, domesticated subspecies of the red junglefowl originally from Southeastern Asia. Rooster or cock is a term for an adult male bird, and a younger male may be called a cockerel. A m ...

chicken
, important for meat and eggs, though economically valuable
poultry Poultry () are domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to secure a more predictable ...

poultry
include the
turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...
,
guineafowl Guineafowl (; sometimes called "pet speckled hens" or "original fowl") are bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular euk ...
and numerous other species. Birds are also widely kept as
cagebirds Aviculture is the practice of keeping and breeding birds, especially of wild birds in captivity. Aviculture is generally focused on not only the raising and breeding of birds, but also on preserving avian habitat, and public awareness campaigns ...
, from
songbirds A songbird is a bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class (knowledge representatio ...
to
parrots Parrots, also known as psittacines , are bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class ...

parrots
. The longest established
invertebrate Invertebrates are animals that neither possess nor develop a vertebral column (commonly known as a ''backbone'' or ''spine''), derived from the notochord. This includes all animals apart from the chordata, chordate subphylum vertebrate, Vertebra ...
domesticates are the
honey bee A honey bee (also spelled honeybee) is a eusocial flying insect within the genus ''Apis'' of the bee clade, all native to Eurasia. They are known for their construction of wiktionary:perennial, perennial Colony (biology), colonial nests from B ...

honey bee
and the
silkworm ''Bombyx mori'', the domestic silk moth, is an insect from the moth Moths are a paraphyletic In taxonomy, a group is paraphyletic if it consists of the group's last common ancestor and all descendants of that ancestor excluding a ...

silkworm
.
Land snail A land snail is any of the numerous species of snail that live on land, as opposed to the sea snails and freshwater snails. ''Land snail'' is the common name for terrestrial molluscs, terrestrial gastropod mollusks that have gastropod shell, shel ...

Land snail
s are raised for food, while species from several phyla are kept for research, and others are bred for
biological control Biological control or biocontrol is a method of pest control, controlling pests such as insects, mites, weeds and phytopathology, plant diseases bioeffector, using other organisms. It relies on predation, parasitism, herbivory, or other natur ...
. The domestication of plants began at least 12,000 years ago with
cereal A cereal is any Poaceae, grass cultivated (grown) for the edible components of its grain (botanically, a type of fruit called a caryopsis), composed of the endosperm, cereal germ, germ, and bran. The term may also refer to the resulting grain ...

cereal
s in the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
, and the
bottle gourd Calabash (''Lagenaria siceraria''), also known as bottle gourd, white-flowered gourd, long melon, New Guinea bean and Tasmania bean, is a vine A vine ( ''vīnea'' "grapevine", "vineyard", from ''vīnum'' "wine") is any with a growth of t ...

bottle gourd
in Asia. Agriculture developed in at least 11 different centres around the world, domesticating different crops and animals.


Overview

Domestication, from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...
', 'belonging to the house', is "a sustained multi-generational, mutualistic relationship in which one
organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological ...

organism
assumes a significant degree of influence over the
reproduction Reproduction (or procreation or breeding) is the biological process Biological processes are those processes that are vital for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is ...

reproduction
and care of another organism in order to secure a more predictable supply of a resource of interest, and through which the gains advantage over individuals that remain outside this relationship, thereby benefitting and often increasing the fitness of both the domesticator and the target domesticate." This definition recognizes both the biological and the cultural components of the domestication process and the impacts on both humans and the domesticated animals and plants. All past definitions of domestication have included a relationship between humans with plants and animals, but their differences lay in who was considered as the lead partner in the relationship. This new definition recognizes a mutualistic relationship in which both partners gain benefits. Domestication has vastly enhanced the reproductive output of crop plants, livestock, and pets far beyond that of their wild progenitors. Domesticates have provided humans with resources that they could more predictably and securely control, move, and redistribute, which has been the advantage that had fueled a population explosion of the agro-pastoralists and their spread to all corners of the planet.
Houseplant A houseplant is a plant Plants are mainly multicellular organisms, predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, th ...

Houseplant
s and ornamentals are plants domesticated primarily for
aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of m ...

aesthetic
enjoyment in and around the home, while those domesticated for large-scale food production are called crops. Domesticated plants deliberately altered or selected for special desirable characteristics are cultigens. Animals domesticated for home companionship are called
pet A pet, or companion animal, is an animal kept primarily for a person's company or entertainment rather than as a working animal, livestock or a laboratory animal. Popular pets are often considered to have attractive appearances, Animal cognitio ...

pet
s, while those domesticated for food or work are known as
livestock Livestock are the domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to secure a more predictabl ...
. This biological mutualism is not restricted to humans with domestic crops and livestock but is well-documented in nonhuman species, especially among a number of social insect domesticators and their plant and animal domesticates, for example the
ant–fungus mutualism Ant–fungus mutualism is a symbiosis seen in certain ant and fungus, fungal species, in which ants actively cultivate fungus much like humans farm agriculture, crops as a food source. In some species, the ants and fungi are dependent on each other ...
that exists between and certain fungi. Domestication syndrome is the suite of
phenotypic In genetics Genetics is a branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular inter ...

phenotypic
traits arising during domestication that distinguish crops from their wild ancestors. The term is also applied to vertebrate animals, and includes increased docility and tameness, coat color changes, reductions in tooth size, changes in craniofacial morphology, alterations in ear and tail form (e.g., floppy ears), more frequent and nonseasonal estrus cycles, alterations in
adrenocorticotropic hormone Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH; also adrenocorticotropin, corticotropin) is a polypeptide Peptides (from Greek language πεπτός, ''peptós'' "digested"; derived from πέσσειν, ''péssein'' "to digest") are short chains of amino ...
levels, changed concentrations of several neurotransmitters, prolongations in juvenile behavior, and reductions in both total brain size and of particular brain regions.


Cause and timing

The
domestication of animals The domestication of animals is the mutual relationship between animals Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system tha ...
and plants was triggered by the climatic and environmental changes that occurred after the peak of the
Last Glacial Maximum The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), also referred to as the Late Glacial Maximum, was the most recent time during the Last Glacial Period that ice sheets In glaciology Lateral moraine on a glacier joining the Gorner Glacier, Zermatt">Gorner_Gla ...
around 21,000 years ago and which continue to this present day. These changes made obtaining food difficult. The first domesticate was the
wolf The wolf (''Canis lupus''), also known as the gray wolf or grey wolf, is a large canine Canine may refer to: Zoology * dog-like mammals (i.e. members of the canid subfamily Caninae) ** ''Canis'', a genus including dogs, wolves, coyotes, a ...

wolf
(''Canis lupus'') at least 15,000 years ago. The
Younger Dryas The Younger Dryas (around 12,900 to 11,700 years BP) was a return to glacial conditions after the Late Glacial Interstadial The Late Glacial Interstadial (LGI) c.14,670 to c.12,890 BP represents the first ''pronounced'' warming since the end of ...
that occurred 12,900 years ago was a period of intense cold and aridity that put pressure on humans to intensify their foraging strategies. By the beginning of the
Holocene The Holocene ( ) is the current geological epoch In geochronology, an epoch is a subdivision of the geologic timescale that is longer than an age (geology), age but shorter than a period (geology), period. The current epoch is the Holocene E ...
from 11,700 years ago, favorable climatic conditions and increasing human populations led to small-scale animal and plant domestication, which allowed humans to augment the food that they were obtaining through
hunter-gathering A hunter-gatherer is a human living in a society in which most or all food is obtained by foraging (collecting wild plants and pursuing Wildlife, wild animals). Hunter-gatherer societies stand in contrast to agriculture, agricultural societies, wh ...
. The Neolithic transition led to agricultural societies emerging in locations across Eurasia, North Africa, and South and Central America. In the
Fertile Crescent The Fertile Crescent is a crescent-shaped region in the Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an establishe ...

Fertile Crescent
10,000-11,000 years ago,
zooarchaeology Zooarchaeology (sometimes incorrectly archaeozoology), also known as faunal analysis, is a branch of that studies remains of animals from s. Faunal remains are the items left behind when an animal dies. These include bones, shells, hair, , scale ...
indicates that goats, pigs, sheep, and
taurine cattle Taurine cattle (''Bos taurus taurus''), also called European cattle, are a subspecies of domesticated cattle originating in the Near East. Both taurine cattle and indicine cattle (zebus) are descended from the aurochs. Taurine cattle were original ...
were the first livestock to be domesticated. Two thousand years later, humped
zebu The zebu (; ''Bos indicus'' or ''Bos taurus indicus''), sometimes known in the plural as indicine cattle or humped cattle, is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic ra ...

zebu
cattle were domesticated in what is today
Baluchistan Balochistan (; bal, بلوچِستان; also romanised as Baluchistan) is an arid A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or preventing the growth and development Development ...

Baluchistan
in Pakistan. In
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia, which is defined in both Geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The modern State (polity), states of East Asia include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. ...

East Asia
8,000 years ago, pigs were domesticated from wild boar that were genetically different from those found in the Fertile Crescent. The horse was domesticated on the Central Asian steppe 5,500 years ago. Both the chicken in Southeast Asia and the cat in Egypt were domesticated 4,000 years ago. The sudden appearance of the
domestic dog The dog or domestic dog (''Canis familiaris'' or ''Canis lupus familiaris'') is a Domestication, domesticated descendant of the wolf which is characterized by an upturning tail. The dog Origin of the domestic dog, derived from an Pleistocene w ...

domestic dog
(''Canis lupus familiaris'') in the archaeological record then led to a rapid shift in the
evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...

evolution
,
ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers organisms In biol ...
, and
demography Demography (from prefix ''demo-'' from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period ...

demography
of both humans and numerous species of animals and plants. It was followed by livestock and crop domestication, and the transition of humans from foraging to farming in different places and times across the planet. Around 10,000 YBP, a new way of life emerged for humans through the management and exploitation of plant and animal species, leading to higher-density populations in the centers of domestication, the expansion of agricultural economies, and the development of urban communities.


Animals


Theory

The domestication of animals is the mutual relationship between animals with the humans who have influence on their care and reproduction.
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that fu ...

Charles Darwin
recognized the small number of traits that made domestic species different from their wild ancestors. He was also the first to recognize the difference between conscious
selective breeding Selective breeding (also called artificial selection) is the process by which humans use animal breeding Animal breeding is a branch of animal science Animal science (also bioscience) is described as "studying the biology Biology i ...
in which humans directly select for desirable traits, and unconscious selection where traits evolve as a by-product of
natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of peta ...
or from selection on other traits. There is a genetic difference between domestic and wild populations. There is also such a difference between the domestication traits that researchers believe to have been essential at the early stages of domestication, and the improvement traits that have appeared since the split between wild and domestic populations. Domestication traits are generally fixed within all domesticates, and were selected during the initial episode of domestication of that animal or plant, whereas improvement traits are present only in a proportion of domesticates, though they may be fixed in individual breeds or regional populations. ''Domestication'' of animals should not be confused with ''taming''. Taming is the conditioned behavioral modification of an individual animal, to reduce its natural avoidance of humans, and to tolerate the presence of humans. Domestication is the permanent genetic modification of a bred lineage that leads to an inherited predisposition to respond calmly to human presence. Certain animal species, and certain individuals within those species, make better candidates for domestication than others because they exhibit certain behavioral characteristics: # The size and organization of their social structure # The availability and the degree of selectivity in their choice of mates # The ease and speed with which the parents bond with their young, and the maturity and mobility of the young at birth # The degree of flexibility in diet and habitat tolerance; and # Responses to humans and new environments, including reduced flight response and reactivity to external stimuli.


Mammals

The beginnings of animal domestication involved a protracted
coevolution In biology, coevolution occurs when two or more species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined ...
ary process with multiple stages along different pathways. There are three proposed major pathways that most animal domesticates followed into domestication: # , adapted to a human niche (e.g.,
dogs The dog or domestic dog (''Canis familiaris'' or ''Canis lupus familiaris'') is a domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the ...

dogs
,
cats The cat (''Felis catus'') is a of small . It is the only domesticated species in the family and is often referred to as the domestic cat to distinguish it from the wild members of the family. A cat can either be a house cat, a or a ; ...

cats
,
fowl Fowl are bird Birds are a group of s constituting the Aves , characterised by s, toothless beaked jaws, the of eggs, a high rate, a four-chambered , and a strong yet lightweight . Birds live worldwide and range in size from the ...

fowl
, possibly
pigs The pig (''Sus domesticus''), often called swine, hog, or domestic pig when distinguishing from other members of the genus '' Sus'', is an omnivorous An omnivore () is an animal that has the ability to eat and survive on both plant and ani ...

pigs
); # prey animals sought for food (e.g.,
sheep Sheep (''Ovis aries'') are quadrupedal, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Like all ruminants, sheep are members of the order (biology), order Artiodactyla, the even-toed ungulates. Although the name ''sheep'' applies to many species ...

sheep
,
goats The domestic goat or simply goat (''Capra aegagrus hircus'') is a subspecies of '' C. aegagrus'' domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of infl ...

goats
,
cattle Cattle, taurine cattle, Eurasian cattle, or European cattle (''Bos taurus'' or ''Bos primigenius taurus'') are large domestication, domesticated Cloven hoof, cloven-hooved herbivores. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae ...

cattle
,
water buffalo The water buffalo (''Bubalus bubalis''), also called the domestic water buffalo or Asian water buffalo, is a large bovid The Bovidae comprise the biological family Family ( la, familia, plural ') is one of the eight major hierarchical tax ...

water buffalo
,
yak The domestic yak (''Bos grunniens'') is a type of long-haired domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care o ...

yak
, pig,
reindeer The reindeer (''Rangifer tarandus''), also known as the caribou in North America, is a species of deer with circumpolar distribution, native to Arctic, subarctic, tundra, boreal, and mountainous regions of northern Europe, Siberia, and North ...

reindeer
,
llama The llama (; ) (''Lama glama'') is a domesticated South American camelid, widely used as a List of meat animals, meat and pack animal by Inca empire, Andean cultures since the Pre-Columbian era. Llamas are social animals and live with othe ...

llama
and
alpaca The alpaca (''Vicugna pacos'') is a species of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria ...

alpaca
); and # animals targeted for draft and non-food resources (e.g.,
horse The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to ...

horse
,
donkey The donkey or ass is a domestic animal This page gives a list of domestic animals, also including a list of domestication of animals, animals which are or may be currently undergoing the process of domestication and animals that have an exten ...
,
camel A camel is an even-toed ungulate The even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla , ) are ungulates—hoofed animals—which bear weight equally on two (an even number) of their five toes: the third and fourth. The other three toes are either present, ...

camel
). The dog was the first domesticant, and was established across
Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a ...

Eurasia
before the end of the
Late Pleistocene The Late Pleistocene is an unofficial age in the international geologic timescale The geologic time scale (GTS) is a system of chronological datingChronological dating, or simply dating, is the process of attributing to an object or event ...
era, well before
cultivation Cultivation may refer to: * The state of having or expressing a good education (bildung), refinement (culture), refinement, culture, or high culture * Gardening * Agriculture, the cultivation and breeding of animals, plants and fungi * Fungiculture ...

cultivation
and before the domestication of other animals. Humans did not intend to domesticate animals from either the commensal or prey pathways, or at least they did not envision a domesticated animal would result from it. In both of those cases, humans became entangled with these species as the relationship between them intensified, and humans' role in their survival and reproduction led gradually to formalised
animal husbandry Animal husbandry is the branch of agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Ex ...
. Although the directed pathway proceeded from capture to taming, the other two pathways are not as goal-oriented, and archaeological records suggest that they took place over much longer time frames. Unlike other domestic species which were primarily selected for production-related traits, dogs were initially selected for their behaviors. The archaeological and genetic data suggest that long-term bidirectional
gene flow In population genetics Population genetics is a subfield of that deals with genetic differences within and between s, and is a part of . Studies in this branch of examine such phenomena as , , and . Population genetics was a vital ingredient ...

gene flow
between wild and domestic stocks – including
donkey The donkey or ass is a domestic animal This page gives a list of domestic animals, also including a list of domestication of animals, animals which are or may be currently undergoing the process of domestication and animals that have an exten ...
s,
horse The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to ...

horse
s, New and Old World
camelid Camelids are members of the biological family (biology), family Camelidae, the only currently living family in the suborder Tylopoda. The extant taxon, extant members of this group are: dromedary, dromedary camels, Bactrian camels, wild Bactrian c ...
s,
goat The domestic goat or simply goat (''Capra hircus'') is a domesticated species of typically kept as . It was from the (''C. aegagrus'') of and . The goat is a member of the animal family and the subfamily , meaning it is closely related ...

goat
s,
sheep Sheep (''Ovis aries'') are quadrupedal, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Like all ruminants, sheep are members of the order (biology), order Artiodactyla, the even-toed ungulates. Although the name ''sheep'' applies to many species ...

sheep
, and
pig The pig (''Sus domesticus''), often called swine, hog, or domestic pig when distinguishing from other members of the genus '' Sus'', is an omnivorous An omnivore () is an animal that has the ability to eat and survive on both plant and ani ...

pig
s – was common. One study has concluded that human selection for domestic traits likely counteracted the homogenizing effect of gene flow from wild boars into pigs and created domestication islands in the genome. The same process may also apply to other domesticated animals.


Birds

Domesticated birds principally mean
poultry Poultry () are domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to secure a more predictable ...

poultry
, raised for meat and eggs: some
Galliformes Galliformes is an order (biology), order of heavy-bodied ground-feeding birds that includes turkey (bird), turkeys, chickens, Old World quail, quails, and other landfowl. Gallinaceous birds, as they are called, are important as seed dispersers a ...

Galliformes
(
chicken The chicken (''Gallus gallus domesticus'') is a domestication, domesticated subspecies of the red junglefowl originally from Southeastern Asia. Rooster or cock is a term for an adult male bird, and a younger male may be called a cockerel. A m ...

chicken
,
turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...
,
guineafowl Guineafowl (; sometimes called "pet speckled hens" or "original fowl") are bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular euk ...
) and
Anseriformes Anseriformes is an order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from germs, dirt, trash, or waste, ...

Anseriformes
(waterfowl:
duck Duck is the common name for numerous species of waterfowl Anseriformes is an order (biology), order of birds that comprise about 180 living species in three families: Anhimidae (the 3 screamers), Anseranatidae (the magpie goose), and Anati ...

duck
,
goose A goose (plural geese) is a bird of any of several waterfowl Anseriformes is an order of bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class (biology), class Aves , characterised by feathers, toothless beaked ...

goose
,
swan Swans are birds of the family (biology), family Anatidae within the genus ''Cygnus''. The swans' closest relatives include the goose, geese and ducks. Swans are grouped with the closely related geese in the subfamily Anserinae where they form th ...

swan
). Also widely domesticated are
cagebirds Aviculture is the practice of keeping and breeding birds, especially of wild birds in captivity. Aviculture is generally focused on not only the raising and breeding of birds, but also on preserving avian habitat, and public awareness campaigns ...
such as
songbirds A songbird is a bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class (knowledge representatio ...
and
parrots Parrots, also known as psittacines , are bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class ...

parrots
; these are kept both for pleasure and for use in research. The
domestic pigeon The domestic pigeon (''Columba livia domestica'') is a Columbidae, pigeon subspecies that was derived from the rock dove (also called the rock pigeon). The rock pigeon is the world's oldest domesticated bird. Mesopotamian Cuneiform script, cunei ...

domestic pigeon
has been used both for food and as a means of communication between far-flung places through the exploitation of the pigeon's homing instinct; research suggests it was domesticated as early as 10,000 years ago. Chicken fossils in China were dated 7,400 years ago. The chicken's wild ancestor is '''', the red junglefowl of Southeast Asia. It appears to have been kept initially for
cockfighting A cockfight is a blood sport A blood sport or bloodsport is a category of sport Sport pertains to any form of competitive Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engaging in a lasting competiti ...

cockfighting
rather than for food.


Invertebrates

Two
insect Insects (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in ...

insect
s, the
silkworm ''Bombyx mori'', the domestic silk moth, is an insect from the moth Moths are a paraphyletic In taxonomy, a group is paraphyletic if it consists of the group's last common ancestor and all descendants of that ancestor excluding a ...

silkworm
and the
western honey bee The western honey bee or European honey bee (''Apis mellifera'') is the most common of the 7–12 species of honey bee A honey bee (also spelled honeybee) is a eusocial Eusociality (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, fr ...

western honey bee
, have been domesticated for over 5,000 years, often for commercial use. The silkworm is raised for the silk threads wound around its
pupa A pupa ( la, pupa, "doll"; plural: ''pupae'') is the life stage of some insect Insects (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communicat ...

pupa
l cocoon; the western honey bee, for
honey Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance made by honey bees Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance made by honey bees and some other Bee, bees. Bees produce honey from the sugary secretions of plants (floral nectar) or from secretion ...

honey
, and, lately, for
pollination Pollination is the transfer of pollen Pollen is a powdery substance consisting of pollen grains which are Sporophyte, microsporophytes of spermatophyta, seed plants, which produce male gametes (sperm cells). Pollen grains have a hard coat ...

pollination
of crops. Several other invertebrates have been domesticated, both terrestrial and aquatic, including some such as '''' fruit flies and the freshwater cnidarian '' Hydra'' for research into genetics and physiology. Few have a long history of domestication. Most are used for food or other products such as
shellac Shellac () is a resin In polymer chemistry and materials science, resin is a solid or highly Viscosity, viscous substance of plant or synthetic origin that is typically convertible into polymers. Resins are usually mixtures of organic co ...
and
cochineal The cochineal ( ; ; scientific name: ''Dactylopius coccus'') is a scale insect Scale insects are small insects of the Order (biology), order Hemiptera, suborder Sternorrhyncha. Of dramatically variable appearance and extreme sexual dimorphi ...
. The phyla involved are
Cnidaria Pacific sea nettles, ''Chrysaora fuscescens'' Cnidaria () is a phylum In biology, a phylum (; plural The plural (sometimes list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ), in many languages, is one of the values of the grammatical number, ...

Cnidaria
,
Platyhelminthes The flatworms, flat worms, Platyhelminthes, or platyhelminths (from the Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in S ...
(for
biological control Biological control or biocontrol is a method of pest control, controlling pests such as insects, mites, weeds and phytopathology, plant diseases bioeffector, using other organisms. It relies on predation, parasitism, herbivory, or other natur ...
), ,
Mollusca Mollusca is the second-largest phylum In biology, a phylum (; plural The plural (sometimes list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ), in many languages, is one of the values of the grammatical number, grammatical category of number ...

Mollusca
,
Arthropoda An arthropod (, (gen. ποδός)) is an invertebrate Invertebrates are animals that neither possess nor develop a vertebral column (commonly known as a ''backbone'' or ''spine''), derived from the notochord. This includes all animals apart ...

Arthropoda
(marine
crustacea Crustaceans (Crustacea ) form a large, diverse arthropod An arthropod (, (gen. ποδός)) is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton, a Segmentation (biology), segmented body, and paired jointed appendages. Arthropods form the phylum Eua ...

crustacea
ns as well as insects and spiders), and
Echinodermata An echinoderm () is any member of the phylum In biology, a phylum (; plural The plural (sometimes list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ), in many languages, is one of the values of the grammatical number, grammatical category of ...

Echinodermata
. While many marine molluscs are used for food, only a few have been domesticated, including
squid Squid are cephalopod A cephalopod is any member of the mollusca Mollusca is the second-largest phylum In biology, a phylum (; plural The plural (sometimes list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ), in many languages, is ...

squid
,
cuttlefish Cuttlefish or cuttles are marine Marine is an adjective meaning of or pertaining to the sea or ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
and
octopus An octopus (pl. octopuses/octopi, see below for variants) is a soft-bodied, eight- limbed mollusc Mollusca is the second-largest phylum of invertebrate animals after the Arthropoda. The members are known as molluscs or mollusks (). A ...

octopus
, all used in research on
behaviour Behavior (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American English ...
and
neurology Neurology (from el, , "string, nerve" and the suffix , "study of") is a branch of dealing with . Neurology deals with the diagnosis and treatment of all categories of conditions and disease involving the and s (and their subdivisions, the ...
. Terrestrial snails in the genera ''
Helix A helix (), plural helixes or helices (), is a shape like a corkscrew or spiral staircase. It is a type of smooth Smooth may refer to: Mathematics * Smooth function is a smooth function with compact support. In mathematical analysis, the ...
'' and ''
Murex ''Murex'' is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their a ...
'' are raised for food. Several parasitic or parasitoidal insects including the fly '' Eucelatoria'', the beetle '' Chrysolina'', and the wasp ''
Aphytis Aphytis ( grc, Ἄφυτις), also Aphyte (Ἀφύτη) and Aphytus or Aphytos (Ἄφυτος), was an ancient Greek city in Pallene, the westernmost headland of Chalcidice Chalkidiki (; el, Χαλκιδική, Halkidhikí, ) also spelled ''Ch ...
'' are raised for biological control. Conscious or unconscious artificial selection has many effects on species under domestication; variability can readily be lost by inbreeding, selection against undesired traits, or genetic drift, while in ''Drosophila'', variability in eclosion time (when adults emerge) has increased.


Plants

The initial domestication of animals impacted most on the genes that controlled their behavior, but the initial domestication of plants impacted most on the genes that controlled their morphology (seed size, plant architecture, dispersal mechanisms) and their physiology (timing of germination or ripening). The domestication of
wheat Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus ''Triticum''; the most widely grown is common wheat Common wheat (''Triticum aestivum'' ...

wheat
provides an example. Wild wheat shatters and falls to the ground to reseed itself when ripe, but domesticated wheat stays on the stem for easier harvesting. This change was possible because of a random mutation in the wild populations at the beginning of wheat's
cultivation Cultivation may refer to: * The state of having or expressing a good education (bildung), refinement (culture), refinement, culture, or high culture * Gardening * Agriculture, the cultivation and breeding of animals, plants and fungi * Fungiculture ...
. Wheat with this mutation was harvested more frequently and became the seed for the next crop. Therefore, without realizing, early farmers selected for this mutation. The result is domesticated wheat, which relies on farmers for its reproduction and dissemination.


History

The earliest human attempts at plant domestication occurred in the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
. There is early evidence for conscious cultivation and trait selection of plants by pre-Neolithic groups in Syria: grains of
rye Rye (''Secale cereale'') is a grass Poaceae () or Gramineae () is a large and nearly ubiquitous family of monocotyledonous flowering plants known as grasses. It includes the cereal grasses, bamboo Bamboos are a diverse group of ev ...

rye
with domestic traits dated 13,000 years ago have been recovered from Abu Hureyra in
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
, but this appears to be a localised phenomenon resulting from cultivation of stands of wild rye, rather than a definitive step towards domestication. The
bottle gourd Calabash (''Lagenaria siceraria''), also known as bottle gourd, white-flowered gourd, long melon, New Guinea bean and Tasmania bean, is a vine A vine ( ''vīnea'' "grapevine", "vineyard", from ''vīnum'' "wine") is any with a growth of t ...

bottle gourd
(''Lagenaria siceraria'') plant, used as a container before the advent of
ceramic A ceramic is any of the various hard, brittle, heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant Corrosion is a Erosion, natural process that converts a refined metal into a more chemically stable form such as oxide, hydroxide, carbonate or sulfide. ...

ceramic
technology, appears to have been domesticated 10,000 years ago. The domesticated bottle gourd reached the Americas from Asia by 8,000 years ago, most likely due to the migration of peoples from Asia to America. Cereal crops were first domesticated around 11,000 years ago in the
Fertile Crescent The Fertile Crescent is a crescent-shaped region in the Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an establishe ...

Fertile Crescent
in the Middle East. The first domesticated crops were generally annuals with large seeds or fruits. These included
pulses A legume () is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respiration, can ...
such as
pea The pea is most commonly the small spherical seed A seed is an embryonic plant enclosed in a protective outer covering. The formation of the seed is part of the process of reproduction Reproduction (or procreation or breeding) is ...

pea
s and grains such as
wheat Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus ''Triticum''; the most widely grown is common wheat Common wheat (''Triticum aestivum'' ...

wheat
. The Middle East was especially suited to these species; the dry-summer climate was conducive to the evolution of large-seeded annual plants, and the variety of elevations led to a great variety of species. As domestication took place humans began to move from a
hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, language and tools. T ...
society to a settled
agricultural Agriculture is the practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors such as watching tele ...

agricultural
society. This change would eventually lead, some 4000 to 5000 years later, to the first
city state A city-state is an independent sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance la ...
s and eventually the rise of
civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a complex society A complex society is a concept that is shared by a range of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, history and sociology to describe a stage of social formation. The concep ...

civilization
itself. Continued domestication was gradual, a process of intermittent trial and error, and often resulted in diverging traits and characteristics. Over time perennials and small trees including the
apple An apple is an edible fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this fie ...

apple
and the
olive The olive, botanical name ''Olea europaea'', meaning "European olive", is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodivers ...

olive
were domesticated. Some plants, such as the
macadamia nut ''Macadamia'' is a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer t ...

macadamia nut
and the
pecan The pecan (''Carya illinoinensis'') is a species of hickory native to the southern United States and northern Mexico in the region of the Mississippi River. The tree is cultivated for its seed in the southern United States, primarily in Georgia ...

pecan
, were not domesticated until recently. In other parts of the world very different species were domesticated. In the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North America, North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. Along with th ...

Americas
squash Squash may refer to: Sports * Squash (sport), the high-speed racquet sport also known as squash racquets * Squash (professional wrestling), an extremely one-sided match in professional wrestling * Squash tennis, a game similar to squash racquets ...
,
maize Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be ...

maize
,
beans A bean is the seed of one of several genus, genera of the flowering plant family (biology), family Fabaceae, which are used as vegetables for human or animal food. They can be cooked in many different ways, including boiling, frying, and b ...

beans
, and perhaps
manioc ''Manihot esculenta'', commonly called cassava (), manioc, or yuca (among numerous regional names) is a woody shrub A shrub (often called a bush) is a small- to medium-sized perennial A perennial plant or simply perennial is a pla ...

manioc
(also known as
cassava ''Manihot esculenta'', commonly called cassava (), manioc, or yuca (among numerous regional names) is a woody shrub A shrub (often called a bush) is a small- to medium-sized perennial A perennial plant or simply perennial is a pla ...

cassava
) formed the core of the diet. In East Asia
millet Millets () are a group of highly variable small-seeded grasses, widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains for fodder and human food. Millets are important crops in the semiarid tropics of Asia and Africa (especially in Indi ...

millet
,
rice Rice is the seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's first double album, it was relea ...

rice
, and
soy The soybean or soya bean (''Glycine max'') is a species of legume native to East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, ...
were the most important crops. Some areas of the world such as
Southern Africa Southern Africa is the south South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Pr ...
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
,
California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

California
and southern South America never saw local species domesticated.


Differences from wild plants

Domesticated plants may differ from their wild relatives in many ways, including * the way they spread to a more diverse environment and have a wider geographic range; * different ecological preference (sun, water, temperature, nutrients, etc. requirements), different disease susceptibility; * conversion from a
perennial A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, the plant kingdom encompassed all living things that were not animals, and incl ...
to annual; * loss of
seed dormancy Seed dormancy is an evolutionary adaptation that prevents seeds from germinating during unsuitable ecological conditions that would typically lead to a low probability of seedling survival. Dormant seeds A seed is an Plant embryogenesis, embry ...
and photoperiodic controls; * simultaneous flower and fruit, double flowers; * a lack of shattering or scattering of seeds, or even loss of their dispersal mechanisms completely; * less efficient breeding system (e.g. lack normal
pollinating Pollination is the transfer of pollen from a male part of a plant to a female part of a plant, later enabling fertilisation and the production of seeds, most often by an animal or by Anemophily, wind. Pollinating agents are animals such as insects ...
organs, making human intervention a requirement), smaller seeds with lower success in the wild, or even complete sexual sterility (e.g. seedless fruits) and therefore only vegetative reproduction; * less defensive adaptations such as hairs,
thorns, spines, and prickles In plant morphology Phytomorphology is the study of the physical form and external structure of plant Plants are mainly multicellular organisms, predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organ ...
, poison, protective coverings and sturdiness, rendering them more likely to be eaten by animals and pests unless cared by humans; * chemical composition, giving them better
palatabilityPalatability is the Reward system, hedonic reward (i.e., pleasure) provided by foods or fluids that are agreeable to the "palate", which often varies relative to the homeostatic satisfaction of nutritional, Fluid balance, water, or Food energy, energ ...
(e.g. sugar content), better smell, and lower toxicity; * edible part larger, and easier separated from non-edible part (e.g. freestone fruit).


The impact of domestication on the plant microbiome

The
microbiome A microbiome () is the community (ecology), community of microorganisms that can usually be found living together in any given habitat. It was defined more precisely in 1988 by Whipps ''et al.'' as "a characteristic microbial community occupyi ...
, defined as the collection of
microorganism A microorganism, or microbe,, ''mikros'', "small") and ''organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes ...
s inhabiting the surface and internal tissue of plants, has been shown to be affected by plant domestication and breeding. This includes variation the microbial community composition to change in the number of microbial species associated with plants, i.e., species diversity. Evidence also show that plant lineage, including
speciation Speciation is the evolutionary process by which populations evolve to become distinct species. The biologist Orator F. Cook coined the term in 1906 for cladogenesis, the splitting of lineages, as opposed to anagenesis, phyletic evolution within ...

speciation
, domestication, and
breeding Breeding is sexual reproduction Sexual reproduction is a type of reproduction Reproduction (or procreation or breeding) is the biological process by which new individual organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ...
have shaped the plant
endophyte An endophyte is an endosymbiont, often a bacterium Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are a type of Cell (biology), biological cell. They constitute a large domain (biology), domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typical ...
s in similar patterns as plant genes. Such patterns are also known as phylosymbiosis which have been observed in several animal and plant lineages.


Traits that are being genetically improved

There are many challenges facing modern farmers, including climate change, pests, soil salinity, drought, and periods with limited sunlight. Drought is one of the most serious challenges facing farmers today. With shifting climates comes shifting weather patterns, meaning that regions that could traditionally rely on a substantial amount of precipitation were, quite literally, left out to dry. In light of these conditions,
drought resistanceDrought tolerance is the ability to which a plant maintains its biomass production during arid or drought conditions. Some plants are naturally adapted to dry conditions'','' surviving with protection mechanisms such as desiccation tolerance, detoxif ...
in major crop plants has become a clear priority. One method is to identify the genetic basis of drought resistance in naturally drought resistant plants, i.e. the
Bambara groundnut ''Vigna subterranea'' (also known by its common names: Bambara nut, Bambara-bean, Congo goober, earth pea, ground-bean, or hog-peanut) is a member of the family Fabaceae The Fabaceae or Leguminosae,
. Next, transferring these advantages to otherwise vulnerable crop plants. Rice, which is one of the most vulnerable crops in terms of drought, has been successfully improved by the addition of the Barley hva1 gene into the genome using transgenetics. Drought resistance can also be improved through changes in a plant's root system architecture, such as a root orientation that maximizes water retention and nutrient uptake. There must be a continued focus on the efficient usage of available water on a planet that is expected to have a population in excess of nine-billion people by 2050. Another specific area of genetic improvement for domesticated crops is the crop plant's uptake and utilization of soil potassium, an essential element for crop plants yield and overall quality. A plant's ability to effectively uptake potassium and utilize it efficiently is known as its potassium utilization efficiency. It has been suggested that first optimizing plant root architecture and then root potassium uptake activity may effectively improve plant potassium utilization efficiency.


Crop plants that are being genetically improved

Cereal A cereal is any Poaceae, grass cultivated (grown) for the edible components of its grain (botanically, a type of fruit called a caryopsis), composed of the endosperm, cereal germ, germ, and bran. The term may also refer to the resulting grain ...

Cereal
s, rice, wheat, corn,
sorghum ''Sorghum'' is a genus of about 25 species of flowering plants in the grass family ( Poaceae). Some of these species are grown as cereals for human consumption and some in pastures for animals. One species, '' Sorghum bicolor'', was originally ...

sorghum
and barley, make up a huge amount of the global diet across all demographic and social scales. These cereal crop plants are all autogamous, i.e. self-fertilizing, which limits overall diversity in allelic combinations, and therefore adaptability to novel environments. To combat this issue the researchers suggest an "Island Model of Genomic Selection". By breaking a single large population of cereal crop plants into several smaller sub-populations which can receive "migrants" from the other subpopulations, new genetic combinations can be generated. The Bambara groundnut is a durable crop plant that, like many underutilized crops, has received little attention in an agricultural sense. The Bambara Groundnut is drought resistant and is known to be able to grow in almost any soil conditions, no matter how impoverished an area may be. New genomic and transcriptomic approaches are allowing researchers to improve this relatively small-scale crop, as well as other large-scale crop plants. The reduction in cost, and wide availability of both
microarray A microarray is a multiplex Multiplex may refer to: * Multiplex (automobile), a former American car make * Multiplex (comics), a DC comic book supervillain * Multiplex communication or multiplexing, combining many signals into a single transmiss ...

microarray
technology and Next Generation Sequencing have made it possible to analyze underutilized crops, like the groundnut, at genome-wide level. Not overlooking particular crops that don't appear to hold any value outside of the developing world will be key to not only overall crop improvement, but also to reducing the global dependency on only a few crop plants, which holds many intrinsic dangers to the global population's food supply.


Challenges facing genetic improvement

The semi-arid tropics, ranging from parts of North and South Africa, Asia especially in the South Pacific, all the way to Australia are notorious for being both economically destitute and agriculturally difficult to cultivate and farm effectively. Barriers include everything from lack of rainfall and diseases, to economic isolation and environmental irresponsibility. There is a large interest in the continued efforts, of the
International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is an international organization which conducts agricultural research for rural development, headquartered in Patancheru Patancheru is a located in north western end ...
(ICRSAT) to improve staple foods. some mandated crops of ICRISAT include the groundnut, pigeonpea, chickpea, sorghum and pearl millet, which are the main staple foods for nearly one billion people in the semi-arid tropics. As part of the ICRISAT efforts, some wild plant breeds are being used to transfer genes to cultivated crops by interspecific hybridization involving modern methods of embryo rescue and tissue culture. One example of early success has been work to combat the very detrimental peanut clump virus. Transgenetic plants containing the coat protein gene for resistance against peanut clump virus have already been produced successfully. Another region threatened by food security are the Pacific Island Countries, which are disproportionally faced with the negative effects of climate change. The Pacific Islands are largely made up of a chain of small bodies of land, which obviously limits the amount of geographical area in which to farm. This leaves the region with only two viable options 1.) increase agricultural production or 2.) increase food importation. The latter of course runs into the issues of availability and economic feasibility, leaving only the first option as a viable means to solve the region's food crisis. It is much easier to misuse the limited resources remaining, as compared with solving the problem at its core.


Working with wild plants to improve domestics

Work has also has been focusing on improving domestic crops through the use of
crop wild relative A crop wild relative (CWR) is a wild plant closely related to a domesticated plant 291px, This map shows the sites of domestication for a number of crop plants. Places where crops were initially domesticated are called centres of origin. This is ...
s. The amount and depth of genetic material available in crop wild relatives is larger than originally believed, and the range of plants involved, both wild and domestic, is ever expanding. Through the use of new biotechnological tools such as genome editing,
cisgenesis Cisgenesis is a product designation for a category of Genetic engineering, genetically engineered plants. A variety of classification schemes have been proposed that order genetically modified organisms based on the nature of introduced genotypical ...
/intragenesis, the transfer of genes between crossable donor species including hybrids, and other omic approaches. Wild plants can be hybridized with crop plants to form perennial crops from annuals, increase yield, growth rate, and resistance to outside pressures like disease and drought. Importantly, these changes take significant lengths of time to achieve, sometimes even decades. However, the outcome can be extremely successful as is the case with a hybrid grass variant known as '' Kernza.'' Over the course of nearly three decades, work was done on an attempted hybridization between an already domesticated grass strain, and several of its wild relatives. The domesticated strain as was more uniform in its orientation, but the wild strains were larger and propagated faster. The resulting ''Kernza'' crop has traits from both progenitors: uniform orientation and a linearly vertical root system from the domesticated crop, along with increased size and rate of propagation from the wild relatives.


Fungi and micro-organisms

Several species of
fungi A fungus (plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full ...

fungi
have been domesticated for use directly as food, or in fermentation to produce foods and drugs. The white button mushroom ''
Agaricus bisporus ''Agaricus bisporus'' is an edible basidiomycete Basidiomycota () is one of two large divisions that, together with the Ascomycota Ascomycota is a phylum of the kingdom Fungi that, together with the Basidiomycota, forms the subkingdom Dika ...

Agaricus bisporus
'' is widely grown for food. The yeast ''
Saccharomyces cerevisiae ''Saccharomyces cerevisiae'' () is a species of yeast Yeasts are eukaryotic Eukaryotes () are organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are ...

Saccharomyces cerevisiae
'' have been used for thousands of years to ferment beer and wine, and to leaven bread. Mould fungi including ''
Penicillium ''Penicillium'' () is a genus of ascomycetous Ascomycota is a phylum of the kingdom Fungi that, together with the Basidiomycota, forms the subkingdom Dikarya. Its members are commonly known as the sac fungi or ascomycetes. It is the largest ...

Penicillium
'' are used to mature cheeses and other dairy products, as well as to make drugs such as
antibiotics An antibiotic is a type of antimicrobial substance active against bacteria. It is the most important type of antibacterial agent for fighting pathogenic bacteria, bacterial infections, and antibiotic medications are widely used in the therapy, ...
.


Effects


On domestic animals

Selection of animals for visible "desirable" traits may have undesired consequences. Captive and domesticated animals often have smaller size,
piebald pattern A piebald or pied animal is one that has a pattern of unpigmented spots (white) on a pigmented background of hair, feathers or scales. Thus a piebald black and white dog is a black dog with white spots. The animal's skin under the white ...

piebald
color, shorter faces with smaller and fewer teeth, diminished horns, weak muscle ridges, and less genetic variability. Poor joint definition, late fusion of the limb bone
epiphyses The epiphysis is the rounded end of a long bone, at its joint A joint or articulation (or articular surface) is the connection made between bones in the body which link the skeletal system into a functional whole.Saladin, Ken. Anatomy & Physiol ...
with the diaphyses, hair changes, greater fat accumulation, smaller brains, simplified behavior patterns, extended immaturity, and more pathology are among the defects of domestic animals. All of these changes have been documented by archaeological evidence, and confirmed by animal breeders in the 20th century. In 2014, a study proposed the theory that under selection, docility in mammals and birds results partly from a slowed pace of
neural crest Neural crest cells are a temporary group of cells unique to vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingd ...

neural crest
development, that would in turn cause a reduced fear–startle response due to mild
neurocristopathy Neurocristopathy is a diverse class of pathologies that may arise from defects in the development of tissues containing cells commonly derived from the embryonic neural crest Neural crest cells are a temporary group of cells unique to vertebrate ...
that causes domestication syndrome. The theory was unable to explain curly tails nor domestication syndrome exhibited by plants. A side effect of domestication has been
zoonotic A zoonosis (plural zoonoses, or zoonotic diseases) is an infectious disease caused by a pathogen (an infectious agent, such as a bacterium, virus, parasite or prion) that has Cross-species transmission, jumped from an animal (usually a vertebra ...
diseases. For example, cattle have given humanity various viral poxes,
measles Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to ...
, and
tuberculosis Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to the in ...

tuberculosis
; pigs and ducks have given
influenza Influenza, commonly known as "the flu", is an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), ...

influenza
; and horses have given the
rhinovirus The rhinovirus (from the grc, ῥίς, rhis "nose", , romanized: "of the nose", and the la, vīrus) is the most common viral infectious agent in humans and is the predominant cause of the common cold The common cold, also known simply a ...
es. Many
parasite Parasitism is a Symbiosis, close relationship between species, where one organism, the parasite, lives on or inside another organism, the Host (biology), host, causing it some harm, and is adaptation (biology), adapted structurally to this w ...
s have their origins in domestic animals. The advent of domestication resulted in denser human populations which provided ripe conditions for pathogens to reproduce, mutate, spread, and eventually find a new host in humans. Paul Shepard writes "Man substitutes controlled breeding for natural selection; animals are selected for special traits like milk production or passivity, at the expense of overall fitness and nature-wide relationships...Though domestication broadens the diversity of forms – that is, increases visible polymorphism – it undermines the crisp demarcations that separate wild species and cripples our recognition of the species as a group. Knowing only domestic animals dulls our understanding of the way in which unity and discontinuity occur as patterns in nature, and substitutes an attention to individuals and breeds. The wide variety of size, color, shape, and form of domestic horses, for example, blurs the distinction among different species of ''Equus'' that once were constant and meaningful."


On society

Jared Diamond Jared Mason Diamond (born September 10, 1937) is an American geographer A geographer is a physical scientist, social scientist or humanist whose area of study is geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth d ...

Jared Diamond
in his book ''
Guns, Germs, and Steel ''Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies'' (previously titled ''Guns, Germs and Steel: A Short History of Everybody for the Last 13,000 Years'') is a 1997 Transdisciplinarity, transdisciplinary non-fiction book by Jared Diamond. In ...
'' describes the universal tendency for populations that have acquired agriculture and domestic animals to develop a large population and to expand into new territories. He recounts migrations of people armed with domestic crops overtaking, displacing or killing indigenous hunter-gatherers, whose lifestyle is coming to an end. Some anarcho-primitivist authors describe domestication as the process by which previously
nomadic A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixed habitation who regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo ...

nomadic
human populations shifted towards a sedentary or settled existence through
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

agriculture
and
animal husbandry Animal husbandry is the branch of agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Ex ...
. They claim that this kind of domestication demands a totalitarian relationship with both the land and the plants and animals being domesticated. They say that whereas, in a state of wildness, all life shares and competes for resources, domestication destroys this balance. Domesticated landscape (e.g. pastoral lands/agricultural fields and, to a lesser degree,
horticulture Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients, or for comfort and ornamental purposes. Horticulturists are agriculturists who grow flowers, fruits and nuts, vegetables and herbs, as well as or ...
and
gardening Gardening is the practice of growing and cultivating plants as part of horticulture Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients, or for comfort and ornamental purposes. Horticulturists ar ...

gardening
) ends the open sharing of resources; where "this was everyone's", it is now "mine". Anarcho-primitivists state that this notion of ownership laid the foundation for social
hierarchy A hierarchy (from the Greek: , from , 'president of sacred rites') is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items are represented as being "above", "below", or "at the same level as" one another. Hierarch ...

hierarchy
as property and power emerged. It also involved the destruction, enslavement, or assimilation of other groups of early people who did not make such a transition. Under the framework of
Dialectical naturalism Dialectical naturalism is a term coined by American philosopher Murray Bookchin Murray Bookchin (January 14, 1921 – July 30, 2006) was an American anarchist, political philosopher, trade-union organizer, and educator. A pioneer in the ...
,
Murray Bookchin Murray Bookchin (January 14, 1921 – July 30, 2006) was an American anarchist, political philosopher, trade-union organizer, and educator. A pioneer in the environmental movement, Bookchin formulated and developed the theory of social ec ...

Murray Bookchin
has argued that the basic notion of domestication is incomplete: That, since the domestication of animals is a crucial development within human history, it can also be understood as the domestication of humanity itself in turn. Under this dialectical framework, domestication is always a 'two-way street' with both parties being unavoidably altered by their relationship with each other. David Nibert, professor of sociology at
Wittenberg University Wittenberg University is a private liberal arts college in Springfield, Ohio. It has approximately 1,400 full-time students representing 37 states and 10 foreign countries. The university is associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in A ...
, posits that the domestication of animals, which he refers to as "domesecration" as it often involved extreme violence against animal populations and the devastation of the environment, resulted in the corruption of human ethics, and helped pave the way for societies steeped in "conquest, extermination, displacement, repression, coerced and enslaved servitude, gender subordination and sexual exploitation, and hunger."


On diversity

In 2016, a study found that humans have had a major impact on global
genetic diversity Genetic diversity is the total number of genetic characteristics in the genetic makeup of a species, it ranges widely from the number of species to differences within species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classificati ...
as well as extinction rates, including a contribution to megafaunal extinctions. Pristine landscapes no longer exist and have not existed for millennia, and humans have concentrated the planet's biomass into human-favored plants and animals. Domesticated ecosystems provide food, reduce predator and natural dangers, and promote commerce, but have also resulted in habitat loss and extinctions commencing in the Late Pleistocene. Ecologists and other researchers are advised to make better use of the archaeological and paleoecological data available for gaining an understanding the history of human impacts before proposing solutions.


See also

*
Animal–industrial complex The term animal–industrial complex (AIC) refers to the systematic and institutionalized exploitation of animals. Proponents of the term claim that activities described by the term differ from individual acts of animal cruelty Cruelty to anima ...
*
Anthrozoology Anthrozoology, also known as human–nonhuman-animal studies (HAS), is the subset of ethnobiology that deals with interactions between human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized ...
*
Columbian Exchange #REDIRECT Columbian exchange#REDIRECT Columbian exchange native plants. Clockwise, from top left: 1. Citrus (Rutaceae); 2. Apple An apple is an edible fruit produced by an apple tree (''Malus domestica''). Apple fruit tree, trees are agr ...
*
Domestication theoryDomestication theory is an approach in science and technology studies, Science and Technology Studies (STS) and media studies that describe the processes by which technology is 'tamed' or appropriated by its users. The theory was originally created b ...
*
Experimental evolution Experimental evolution is the use of laboratory experiments or controlled field manipulations to explore evolutionary dynamics. Evolution Evolution is change in the Heredity, heritable Phenotypic trait, characteristics of biological populati ...
*
Genetic engineering Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification or genetic manipulation, is the direct manipulation of an organism's gene In biology, a gene (from ''genos'' "...Wilhelm Johannsen coined the word gene to describe the Mendelian_in ...
*
Genetic erosion Genetic erosion (also known as genetic depletion) is a process where the limited gene pool of an endangered species diminishes even more when reproductive individuals die off before reproducing with others in their endangered low population. The ...
* Genomics of domestication * History of plant breeding * Marker assisted selection *
Pet A pet, or companion animal, is an animal kept primarily for a person's company or entertainment rather than as a working animal, livestock or a laboratory animal. Popular pets are often considered to have attractive appearances, Animal cognitio ...

Pet
*
Self-domesticationSelf-domestication is the process of adaptation of wild animals to cohabiting with humans, without direct human selective breeding of the animals. Dogs and cats have undergone this kind of self-domestication. Self-domestication also refers to the evo ...
*
Timeline of agriculture and food technology Paleolithic * 30,600 BC – Pestle used as a tool in southern Italy to grind oats. Neolithic Revolution * 8,500 BC – Neolithic Revolution, the first agricultural revolution, begins in the ancient Near East * 8,000 BC – domesticated wheat at P ...
* Wild ancestors


Notes


References


Further reading

* * Brian Hare and , "Survival of the Friendliest: Natural selection for hypersocial traits enabled Earth's apex species to best Neandertals and other competitors", ''
Scientific American ''Scientific American'' (informally abbreviated ''SciAm'' or sometimes ''SA'') is an American popular science Popular science (also called pop-science or popsci) is an interpretation of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', ...
'', vol. 323, no. 2 (August 2020), pp. 58–63. * *


External links


Crop Wild Relative Inventory and Gap Analysis
reliable information source on where and what to conserve ex-situ, for crop genepools of global importance


The Initial Domestication of ''Cucurbita pepo'' in the Americas 10,000 Years Ago

Cattle domestication diagram

Major topic 'domestication': free full-text articles (more than 100 plus reviews) in National Library of Medicine
{{Authority control History of agriculture