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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2012

How selective sweeps in domestic animals provide new insight into biological mechanisms

Andersson, Leif


Genetic studies of domestic animals are of general interest because there is more phenotypic diversity to explore in these species than in any experimental organism. Some mutations with favourable phenotypic effects have been highly enriched and gone through selective sweeps during the process of domestication and selective breeding. Three such selective sweeps are described in this review. All three mutations are intronic and constitute cis-acting regulatory mutations. Two of the mutations constitute structural changes (one duplication and one copy number expansion). These examples illustrate a general trend that noncoding mutations and structural changes have both contributed significantly to the evolution of phenotypic diversity in domestic animals. How the molecular characterization of trait loci in domestic animals can provide new basic knowledge of relevance for human medicine is discussed.


comparative genomics; intronic mutations; regulatory mutations; structural variation

Published in

Journal of Internal Medicine
2012, Volume: 271, number: 1, pages: 1-14

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    UKÄ Subject classification

    Genetics and Breeding

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