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Research Article

Contrasting Mode of Evolution at a Coat Color Locus in Wild and Domestic Pigs

  • Meiying Fang equal contributor,

    equal contributor Contributed equally to this work with: Meiying Fang, Greger Larson

    Affiliations: Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden, College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China

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  • Greger Larson equal contributor,

    equal contributor Contributed equally to this work with: Meiying Fang, Greger Larson

    Affiliation: Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

    Current address: Department of Archaeology, Durham University, Durham, United Kingdom

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  • Helena Soares Ribeiro,

    Affiliation: Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden

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  • Ning Li,

    Affiliation: State Key Laboratory for Agrobiotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China

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  • Leif Andersson mail

    Leif.Andersson@imbim.uu.se

    Affiliations: Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

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  • Published: January 16, 2009
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000341

Reader Comments (4)

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Why are domestic animals more cancer prone than their wild counterparts?

Posted by ShiHuang on 16 Jan 2009 at 21:02 GMT

It is well known that domestic animals have higher cancer incidence than their wild counterparts, including domesticated trout, ducks, laboratory mice, Lipizzaner horses, domestic cats, boxers and other large dogs. Your paper, together with mine, suggests a novel explanation for this mystery.

Domestication causes the fixation of many mutant alleles that would otherwise be eliminated by purifying selection in the wild. These extra mutations in demestic animals weaken the epigenetic complexity of the domestic animals and make them more cancer prone than wild counterparts. There is an inverse relationship between genetic diversity/mutations and epigenetic complexity, as explained by my recent paper. (http://precedings.nature....)

Also, more recessive harm alleles may become manifested in artificially interbred domestic animals.