Evolutionary relationships of Red Jungle Fowl and chicken breeds
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Published results were reassessed and original data are provided regarding the origin and relatedness of four postulated chicken breed lineages, egg-type, game, meat-type and Bantam, to each other and to the basic ancestral species of jungle fowls, Gallus gallus. A system approach was employed concerning the planning of the experiments. One element of the system approach is the choice of the breeds to be compared with G. gallus. These breeds were supposed to represent major evolutionary branches of chickens. Four experiments on genetic relationships were conducted using different estimation criteria including morphological discrete characters, body measurements, biochemical markers, and the activity of serum esterase-1. The greatest similarity was found between G. gallus and the egg-type breeds of Mediterranean roots and/or true Bantams. This fact might testify that the indicated chicken groups occupied earlier stages in the evolution from the wild progenitor to the present biodiversity of chickens in the world.
KeywordsRed Jungle Fowl chicken breeds evolution genetic relationship biodiversity
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