Reference genome of wild goat (capra aegagrus) and sequencing of goat breeds provide insight into genic basis of goat domestication

Yang Dong, Xiaolei Zhang, Min Xie, Babak Arefnezhad, Zongji Wang, Wenliang Wang, Shaohong Feng, Guodong Huang, Rui Guan, Wenjing Shen, Rowan Bunch, Russell McCulloch, Qiye Li, Bo Li, Guojie Zhang, Xun Xu, James W. Kijas*, Ghasem Hosseini Salekdeh, Wen Wang, Yu Jiang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Domestic goats (Capra hircus) have been selected to play an essential role in agricultural production systems, since being domesticated from their wild progenitor, bezoar (Capra aegagrus). A detailed understanding of the genetic consequences imparted by the domestication process remains a key goal of evolutionary genomics. 

Results: We constructed the reference genome of bezoar and sequenced representative breeds of domestic goats to search for genomic changes that likely have accompanied goat domestication and breed formation. Thirteen copy number variation genes associated with coat color were identified in domestic goats, among which ASIP gene duplication contributes to the generation of light coat-color phenotype in domestic goats. Analysis of rapidly evolving genes identified genic changes underlying behavior-related traits, immune response and production-related traits. 

Conclusion: Based on the comparison studies of copy number variation genes and rapidly evolving genes between wild and domestic goat, our findings and methodology shed light on the genetic mechanism of animal domestication and will facilitate future goat breeding.

Original languageEnglish
Article number431
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Genomics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2015. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Animal domestication
  • Artificial selection
  • Behavioral evolution
  • Coat color evolution
  • Wild goat genome


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