Ancient goat genomes reveal mosaic domestication in the Fertile Crescent

Kevin Daly, Pierpaolo Maisano Delser, Victoria Mullin, Amelie Scheu, Valeria Mattiangeli, Matthew David Teasdale, Andrew Hare, Joachim Burger, Marta Pereira Verdugo, Matthew James Collins, Ron Kehati, Cevdet Merih Erek, Guy Bar-Oz, François Pompanon, Tristan Cumer, Canan Çakirlar, Azadeh Fatemah Mohaseb, Delphine Decruyenaere, Hossein Davoudi, Özlem ÇevikGary Rollefson, Jean-Denis Vigne, Khazaeli Roya, Homa Fathi, Sanaz Beizaee Doost, Roghayeh Rahimi Sorkhani, Ali Akbar Vahdati, Eberhard W. Sauer, Hossein Azizi Kharanaghi, Sepideh Maziar, Boris Gasparian, Ron Pinhasi, Louise Martin, David Clive Orton, Benjamin S. Arbuckle, Norbert Benecke, Andrea Manica, Liora Kolska Horwitz, Marjan Mashkour, Daniel Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Current genetic data are equivocal as to whether goat domestication occurred multiple times
or was a singular process. We generated genomic data from 83 ancient goats (51 with genome-wide coverage), from Palaeolithic through to Medieval contexts throughout the Near East. Our results demonstrate that multiple divergent ancient wild goat sources were domesticated in a dispersed process, resulting in genetically and geographically-distinct Neolithic goat populations, echoing contemporaneous human divergence across the region. These early goat populations contributed differently to modern goats in Asia, Africa and Europe. We also detect early selection for pigmentation, stature, reproduction, milking and response to dietary change, providing 8,000 year old evidence for human agency in moulding genome variation within a partner species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-88
Number of pages4
Issue number6397
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2018

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