Diversity of management strategies in Mesoamerican turkeys: archaeological, isotopic and genetic evidence.
ABSTRACT: The turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) represents one of the few domestic animals of the New World. While current research points to distinct domestication centres in the Southwest USA and Mesoamerica, several questions regarding the number of progenitor populations, and the timing and intensity of turkey husbandry remain unanswered. This study applied ancient mitochondrial DNA and stable isotope (?13C, ?15N) analysis to 55 archaeological turkey remains from Mexico to investigate pre-contact turkey exploitation in Mesoamerica. Three different (sub)species of turkeys were identified in the archaeological record (M. g. mexicana, M. g. gallopavo and M. ocellata), indicating the exploitation of diverse local populations, as well as the trade of captively reared birds into the Maya area. No evidence of shared maternal haplotypes was observed between Mesoamerica and the Southwest USA, in contrast with archaeological evidence for trade of other domestic products. Isotopic analysis indicates a range of feeding behaviours in ancient Mesoamerican turkeys, including wild foraging, human provisioning and mixed feeding ecologies. This variability in turkey diet decreases through time, with archaeological, genetic and isotopic evidence all pointing to the intensification of domestic turkey management and husbandry, culminating in the Postclassic period.
Project description:Late Preclassic (300 BC-AD 100) turkey remains identified at the archaeological site of El Mirador (Petén, Guatemala) represent the earliest evidence of the Mexican turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) in the ancient Maya world. Archaeological, zooarchaeological, and ancient DNA evidence combine to confirm the identification and context. The natural pre-Hispanic range of the Mexican turkey does not extend south of central Mexico, making the species non-local to the Maya area where another species, the ocellated turkey (Meleagris ocellata), is indigenous. Prior to this discovery, the earliest evidence of M. gallopavo in the Maya area dated to approximately one thousand years later. The El Mirador specimens therefore represent previously unrecorded Preclassic exchange of animals from northern Mesoamerica to the Maya cultural region. As the earliest evidence of M. gallopavo found outside its natural geographic range, the El Mirador turkeys also represent the earliest indirect evidence for Mesoamerican turkey rearing or domestication. The presence of male, female and sub-adult turkeys, and reduced flight morphology further suggests that the El Mirador turkeys were raised in captivity. This supports an argument for the origins of turkey husbandry or at least captive rearing in the Preclassic.
Project description:Although the cultural and nutritive importance of the turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) to precontact Native Americans and contemporary people worldwide is clear, little is known about the domestication of this bird compared to other domesticates. Mitochondrial DNA analysis of 149 turkey bones and 29 coprolites from 38 archaeological sites (200 BC-AD 1800) reveals a unique domesticated breed in the precontact Southwestern United States. Phylogeographic analyses indicate that this domestic breed originated from outside the region, but rules out the South Mexican domestic turkey (Meleagris gallopavo gallopavo) as a progenitor. A strong genetic bottleneck within the Southwest turkeys also reflects intensive human selection and breeding. This study points to at least two occurrences of turkey domestication in precontact North America and illuminates the intensity and sophistication of New World animal breeding practices.
Project description:According to recent archeological evidence, turkey (Meleagris gallopavo gallopavo) domestication may have occurred in Mexico around 2000 years ago. However, little is known about the phylogenetic and genealogical background underlying domestic turkey populations. This study aimed to further understand the domestication process and identify inter- or intraspecific connections between turkey populations to determine their origins, trace their global expansion, and define the species' genetic value. Ninety-three domestic turkeys (local breeds) were sampled from populations in Brazil, Mexico, USA, Spain, Italy, Iran, and Egypt. Publicly available sequences from previous studies were also included. Standard mitochondrial DNA, genetic diversity, and haplotype network analyses were performed. Seventy-six polymorphic sites were identified. Turkeys from Mexico showed the greatest number of polymorphic sites (40), while turkeys from Italy and Brazil reported only one site each. Nucleotide diversity was also highest in Mexico and the USA (? = 0.0175 and 0.0102, respectively) and lowest in Brazil and Italy. Of the six major haplogroups defined, the Mexican and USA populations appeared to have remained more stable and diverse than the other populations. This may be due to conservative husbandry policies in the rural areas of other populations, which have prevented the introduction of commercial turkey lines.
Project description:The 13th century Puebloan depopulation of the Four Corners region of the US Southwest is an iconic episode in world prehistory. Studies of its causes, as well as its consequences, have a bearing not only on archaeological method and theory, but also social responses to climate change, the sociology of social movements, and contemporary patterns of cultural diversity. Previous research has debated the demographic scale, destinations, and impacts of Four Corners migrants. Much of this uncertainty stems from the substantial differences in material culture between the Four Corners vs. hypothesized destination areas. Comparable biological evidence has been difficult to obtain due to the complete departure of farmers from the Four Corners in the 13th century CE and restrictions on sampling human remains. As an alternative, patterns of genetic variation among domesticated species were used to address the role of migration in this collapse. We collected mitochondrial haplotypic data from dog (Canis lupus familiaris) and turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) remains from archaeological sites in the most densely-populated portion of the Four Corners region, and the most commonly proposed destination area for that population under migration scenarios. Results are consistent with a large-scale migration of humans, accompanied by their domestic turkeys, during the 13th century CE. These results support scenarios that suggest contemporary Pueblo peoples of the Northern Rio Grande are biological and cultural descendants of Four Corners populations.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is an important agricultural species and the second largest contributor to the world's poultry meat production. Genetic improvement is attributed largely to selective breeding programs that rely on highly heritable phenotypic traits, such as body size and breast muscle development. Commercial breeding with small effective population sizes and epistasis can result in loss of genetic diversity, which in turn can lead to reduced individual fitness and reduced response to selection. The presence of genomic diversity in domestic livestock species therefore, is of great importance and a prerequisite for rapid and accurate genetic improvement of selected breeds in various environments, as well as to facilitate rapid adaptation to potential changes in breeding goals. Genomic selection requires a large number of genetic markers such as e.g. single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) the most abundant source of genetic variation within the genome. RESULTS: Alignment of next generation sequencing data of 32 individual turkeys from different populations was used for the discovery of 5.49 million SNPs, which subsequently were used for the analysis of genetic diversity among the different populations. All of the commercial lines branched from a single node relative to the heritage varieties and the South Mexican turkey population. Heterozygosity of all individuals from the different turkey populations ranged from 0.17-2.73 SNPs/Kb, while heterozygosity of populations ranged from 0.73-1.64 SNPs/Kb. The average frequency of heterozygous SNPs in individual turkeys was 1.07 SNPs/Kb. Five genomic regions with very low nucleotide variation were identified in domestic turkeys that showed state of fixation towards alleles different than wild alleles. CONCLUSION: The turkey genome is much less diverse with a relatively low frequency of heterozygous SNPs as compared to other livestock species like chicken and pig. The whole genome SNP discovery study in turkey resulted in the detection of 5.49 million putative SNPs compared to the reference genome. All commercial lines appear to share a common origin. Presence of different alleles/haplotypes in the SM population highlights that specific haplotypes have been selected in the modern domesticated turkey.
Project description:Dietary exposure to aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is detrimental to avian health and leads to major economic losses for the poultry industry. AFB1 is especially hepatotoxic in domestic turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo), since these birds are unable to detoxify AFB1 by glutathione-conjugation. The impacts of AFB1 on the turkey hepatic transcriptome and the potential protection from pretreatment with a Lactobacillus-based probiotic mixture were investigated through RNA-sequencing. Animals were divided into four treatment groups and RNA was subsequently recovered from liver samples. Four pooled RNA-seq libraries were sequenced to produce over 322 M reads totaling 13.8 Gb of sequence. Approximately 170,000 predicted transcripts were de novo assembled, of which 803 had significant differential expression in at least one pair-wise comparison between treatment groups. Functional analysis linked many of the transcripts significantly affected by AFB1 exposure to cancer, apoptosis, the cell cycle or lipid regulation. Most notable were transcripts from the genes encoding E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase Mdm2, osteopontin, S-adenosylmethionine synthase isoform type-2, and lipoprotein lipase. Expression was modulated by the probiotics, but treatment did not completely mitigate the effects of AFB1. Genes identified through transcriptome analysis provide candidates for further study of AFB1 toxicity and targets for efforts to improve the health of domestic turkeys exposed to AFB1.
Project description:The mycotoxin, aflatoxin B? (AFB?) is a hepatotoxic, immunotoxic, and mutagenic contaminant of food and animal feeds. In poultry, AFB? can be maternally transferred to embryonated eggs, affecting development, viability and performance after hatch. Domesticated turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) are especially sensitive to aflatoxicosis, while Eastern wild turkeys (M. g. silvestris) are likely more resistant. In ovo exposure provided a controlled AFB? challenge and comparison of domesticated and wild turkeys. Gene expression responses to AFB? in the embryonic hepatic transcriptome were examined using RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq). Eggs were injected with AFB? (1 ?g) or sham control and dissected for liver tissue after 1 day or 5 days of exposure. Libraries from domesticated turkey (n = 24) and wild turkey (n = 15) produced 89.2 Gb of sequence. Approximately 670 M reads were mapped to a turkey gene set. Differential expression analysis identified 1535 significant genes with |log? fold change| ? 1.0 in at least one pair-wise comparison. AFB? effects were dependent on exposure time and turkey type, occurred more rapidly in domesticated turkeys, and led to notable up-regulation in cell cycle regulators, NRF2-mediated response genes and coagulation factors. Further investigation of NRF2-response genes may identify targets to improve poultry resistance.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The distribution of the wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) extends from Mexico to southeastern Canada and to the eastern and southern regions of the USA. Six subspecies have been described based on morphological characteristics and/or geographical variations in wild and domesticated populations. In this paper, based on DNA sequence data from the mitochondrial D-loop, we investigated the genetic diversity and structure, genealogical relationships, divergence time and demographic history of M. gallopavo populations including domesticated individuals. RESULTS:Analyses of 612 wild and domesticated turkey mitochondrial D-loop sequences, including 187 that were collected for this study and 425 from databases, revealed 64 haplotypes with few mutations, some of which are shared between domesticated and wild turkeys. We found a high level of haplotype and nucleotide diversity, which suggests that the total population of this species is large and stable with an old evolutionary history. The results of genetic differentiation, haplotype network, and genealogical relationships analyses revealed three main genetic groups within the species: mexicana as a population relict (C1), merriami (C2), and mexicana/intermedia/silvestris/osceola (C3). Haplotypes detected in domesticated turkeys belong to group C3. Estimates of divergence times agree with range expansion and diversification events of the relict population of M. gallopavo in northwestern Mexico during the Pliocene-Pleistocene and Pleistocene-Holocene boundaries. Demographic reconstruction showed that an expansion of the population occurred 110,000 to 130,000 years ago (Kya), followed by a stable period 100 Kya and finally a decline ~?10 Kya (Pleistocene-Holocene boundary). In Mexico, the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt may be responsible for the range expansion of the C3 group. Two haplotypes with different divergence times, MGMDgoB/MICH1 and MICH2, are dominant in domesticated and commercial turkeys. CONCLUSIONS:During the Pleistocene, a large and stable population of M. gallopavo covered a wide geographic distribution from the north to the center of America (USA and Mexico). The mexicana, merriami, and mexicana/intermedia/silvestris/osceola genetic groups originated after divergence and range expansion from northwestern Mexico during the Pliocene-Pleistocene and Pleistocene-Holocene boundaries. Old and new maternal lines of the mexicana/intermedia/silvestris/osceola genetic group were distributed within the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt where individuals were captured for domestication. Two haplotypes are the main founder maternal lines of domesticated turkeys.
Project description:Archaeologists have long suggested that prehispanic states in Mesoamerica acquired turquoise through long-distance exchange with groups living in what is now the American Southwest and adjacent parts of northern Mexico. To test this hypothesis, we use lead and strontium isotopic ratios to investigate the geologic provenance of 43 Mesoamerican turquoise artifacts, including 38 mosaic tiles from offerings within the Sacred Precinct of Tenochtitlan (the Mexica or Aztec capital) and 5 tiles associated with Mixteca-style mosaics currently held by the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. Most of these artifacts have isotopic signatures that differ from turquoise deposits in the American Southwest, but closely match copper deposits and crustal rocks in Mesoamerica. We thus conclude that turquoise used by the Aztecs and Mixtecs likely derives from Mesoamerican sources and was not acquired through long-distance exchange with the Southwest.
Project description:A novel picornavirus, turkey avisivirus (TuASV), was identified from the feces of turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) with gastrointestinal disease from a farm in Indiana. Its genome organization is as follows: 5' untranslated region (UTR)(IRES-II) [VP0, VP3, VP1, 2A, 2B, 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C(pro), 3D(pol)] 3' UTR-poly(A). TuASV shares only 34% (P1), 36% (P2), and 35% (P3) amino acid identities with avihepatoviruses, indicating that it potentially represents a novel picornavirus genus.