Over a Thousand Years of Evolutionary History of Domestic Geese from Russian Archaeological Sites, Analysed Using Ancient DNA.
ABSTRACT: The European domestic goose is a widely farmed species known to have descended from the wild greylag goose (Anser anser). However, the evolutionary history of this domesticate is still poorly known. Ancient DNA studies have been useful for many species, but there has been little such work on geese. We have studied temporal genetic variation among domestic goose specimens excavated from Russian archaeological sites (4th⁻18th centuries) using a 204 base pair fragment of the mitochondrial control region. Specimens fell into three different genetic clades: the domestic D-haplogroup, the F-haplogroup that includes both wild and domestic geese, and a clade comprising another species, the taiga bean goose. Most of the subfossil geese carried typical domestic D-haplotypes. The domestication status of the geese carrying F-haplotypes is less certain, as the haplotypes identified were not present among modern domestic geese and could represent wild geese (misclassified as domestics), introgression from wild geese, or local domestication events. The bones of taiga bean goose were most probably misidentified as domestic goose but the domestication of bean goose or hybridization with domestic goose is also possible. Samples from the 4th to 10th century were clearly differentiated from the later time periods due to a haplotype that was found only in this early period, but otherwise no temporal or geographical variation in haplotype frequencies was apparent.
Project description:Hybridization has frequently been observed between wild and domestic species and can substantially impact genetic diversity of both counterparts. Geese show some of the highest levels of interspecific hybridization across all bird orders, and two of the goose species in the genus Anser have been domesticated providing an excellent opportunity for a joint study of domestication and hybridization. Until now, knowledge of the details of the goose domestication process has come from archaeological findings and historical writings supplemented with a few studies based on mitochondrial DNA. Here, we used genome-wide markers to make the first genome-based inference of the timing of European goose domestication. We also analyzed the impact of hybridization on the genome-wide genetic variation in current populations of the European domestic goose and its wild progenitor: the graylag goose (Anser anser). Our dataset consisted of 58 wild graylags sampled around Eurasia and 75 domestic geese representing 14 breeds genotyped for 33,527 single nucleotide polymorphisms. Demographic reconstruction and clustering analysis suggested that divergence between wild and domestic geese around 5,300 generations ago was followed by long-term genetic exchange, and that graylag populations have 3.2-58.0% admixture proportions with domestic geese, with distinct geographic patterns. Surprisingly, many modern European breeds share considerable (> 10%) ancestry with the Chinese domestic geese that is derived from the swan goose Anser cygnoid We show that the domestication process can progress despite continued and pervasive gene flow from the wild form.
Project description:Mycoplasma infections have been found in different species of waterfowl worldwide. However, the question of how the pathogens have been transmitted and dispersed is still poorly understood. Samples collected from clinically healthy greater white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons) (N = 12), graylag geese (Anser anser) (N = 6), taiga bean geese (Anser fabalis) (N = 10), and barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis) (N = 1) were tested for Mycoplasma spp. All Mycoplasma-positive samples were specified by species-specific PCR for Mycoplasma anserisalpingitidis (formerly known as Mycoplasma sp. 1220), M. anseris, M. anatis, and M. cloacale. The presence of Mycoplasma spp. was confirmed in 22 of 29 sampled birds (75.9%). Mycoplasma anserisalpingitidis was the most frequently detected species (15 of 22, 68.2%). However, we did not detect any of the other Mycoplasma spp. typical for geese, among which are M. anatis, M. anseris, and M. cloacale. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Polish sequences of M. anserisalpingitidis formed a distinct branch, along with 2 Hungarian isolates obtained from domestic geese. Eight of the samples identified as Mycoplasma spp.-positive were negative for the aforementioned Mycoplasma species. A phylogenetic tree constructed based on partial 16S rRNA gene analysis showed that Mycoplasma spp. sequences collected from Polish wild geese represent a distinct phylogenetic group with Mycoplasma sp. strain 2445 isolated from a domestic goose from Austria. The results of our study showed that wild geese could be a reservoir and vector of different species of the Mycoplasma genus that can cause significant economic losses in the domestic goose industry.
Project description:Circoviruses are circular single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) viruses that infect a variety of animals, both domestic and wild. Circovirus infection in birds is associated with immunosuppression and this in turn predisposes the infected animals to secondary infections that can lead to mortality. Farmed geese (Anser anser) in many parts of the world are infected with circoviruses. The majority of the current genomic information for goose circoviruses (GoCVs) (n = 40) are from birds sampled in China and Taiwan, and only two genome sequences are available from Europe (Germany and Poland). In this study, we sampled 23 wild and 19 domestic geese from the Gop?o Lake area in Poland. We determined the genomes of GoCV from 21 geese; 14 domestic Greylag geese (Anser anser), three wild Greylag geese (A. anser), three bean geese (A. fabalis), and one white fronted goose (A. albifrons). These genomes share 83-95% nucleotide pairwise identities with previously identified GoCV genomes, most are recombinants with exchanged fragment sizes up to 50% of the genome. Higher diversity levels can be seen within the genomes from domestic geese compared with those from wild geese. In the GoCV capsid protein (cp) and replication associated protein (rep) gene sequences we found that episodic positive selection appears to largely mirror those of beak and feather disease virus and pigeon circovirus. Analysis of the secondary structure of the ssDNA genome revealed a conserved stem-loop structure with the G-C rich stem having a high degree of negative selection on these nucleotides.
Project description:Taiga bean goose (Anser fabalis fabalis) is an endangered subspecies that breeds sporadically in remote habitats in the arctic and boreal zones. Due to its elusive behaviour, there is a paucity of knowledge on the behaviour of taiga bean goose during the breeding season, and survey methods for monitoring numbers in the breeding areas are lacking. Camera traps are a useful tool for wildlife monitoring, particularly when there is a need for non-invasive methods due to the shy nature of the species. In this study, we tested the use of camera traps to investigate seasonal and diel activity patterns of taiga bean goose in Finland over two successive breeding seasons, 2018 and 2019. We did this by modelling counts of geese from images with generalized linear and additive mixed models. The camera type (cameras placed by experts specialized in bean goose ecology vs randomly placed cameras) did not influence the count of taiga bean goose (p = 0.386). However, the activity varied significantly by region, Julian day, time of day and temperature, with the study site (individual peatland) and year adding substantial random variation and uncertainty in the counts. Altogether, the best fitting model explained nearly 70% of the variation in taiga bean goose activity. The peak in activity occurred about a month later in the southernmost region compared to the more northern regions, which may indicate behaviours related to migration rather than breeding and moulting. Our results show that long-term monitoring with game camera traps provide a potential unobtrusive approach for studying the behavioural patterns of taiga bean goose and can increase our ecological knowledge of this little-known subspecies. The results can be applied to planning of the annual censuses and finding the optimal time frame for their execution.
Project description:Several studies have uncovered a highly heterogeneous landscape of genetic differentiation across the genomes of closely related species. Specifically, genetic differentiation is often concentrated in particular genomic regions ("islands of differentiation") that might contain barrier loci contributing to reproductive isolation, whereas the rest of the genome is homogenized by introgression. Alternatively, linked selection can produce differentiation islands in allopatry without introgression. We explored the influence of introgression on the landscape of genetic differentiation in two hybridizing goose taxa: the Taiga Bean Goose (Anser fabalis) and the Tundra Bean Goose (A. serrirostris). We re-sequenced the whole genomes of 18 individuals (9 of each taxon) and, using a combination of population genomic summary statistics and demographic modeling, we reconstructed the evolutionary history of these birds. Next, we quantified the impact of introgression on the build-up and maintenance of genetic differentiation. We found evidence for a scenario of allopatric divergence (about 2.5 million years ago) followed by recent secondary contact (about 60,000 years ago). Subsequent introgression events led to high levels of gene flow, mainly from the Tundra Bean Goose into the Taiga Bean Goose. This scenario resulted in a largely undifferentiated genomic landscape (genome-wide FST?=?0.033) with a few notable differentiation peaks that were scattered across chromosomes. The summary statistics indicated that some peaks might contain barrier loci while others arose in allopatry through linked selection. Finally, based on the low genetic differentiation, considerable morphological variation and incomplete reproductive isolation, we argue that the Taiga and the Tundra Bean Goose should be treated as subspecies.
Project description:Low pathogenic avian influenza virus can mutate to a highly pathogenic strain that causes severe clinical signs in birds and humans. Migratory waterfowl, especially ducks, are considered the main hosts of low pathogenic avian influenza virus, but the role of geese in dispersing the virus over long-distances is still unclear. We collected throat and cloaca samples from three goose species, Bean goose (Anser fabalis), Barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis) and Greater white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons), from their breeding grounds, spring stopover sites, and wintering grounds. We tested if the geese were infected with low pathogenic avian influenza virus outside of their wintering grounds, and analysed the spatial and temporal patterns of infection prevalence on their wintering grounds. Our results show that geese were not infected before their arrival on wintering grounds. Barnacle geese and Greater white-fronted geese had low prevalence of infection just after their arrival on wintering grounds in the Netherlands, but the prevalence increased in successive months, and peaked after December. This suggests that migratory geese are exposed to the virus after their arrival on wintering grounds, indicating that migratory geese might not disperse low pathogenic avian influenza virus during autumn migration.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The domestic goose is an economically important and scientifically valuable waterfowl; however, a lack of high-quality genomic data has hindered research concerning its genome, genetics, and breeding. As domestic geese breeds derive from both the swan goose (Anser cygnoides) and the graylag goose (Anser anser), we selected a female Tianfu goose for genome sequencing. We generated a chromosome-level goose genome assembly by adopting a hybrid de novo assembly approach that combined Pacific Biosciences single-molecule real-time sequencing, high-throughput chromatin conformation capture mapping, and Illumina short-read sequencing. FINDINGS:We generated a 1.11-Gb goose genome with contig and scaffold N50 values of 1.85 and 33.12 Mb, respectively. The assembly contains 39 pseudo-chromosomes (2n = 78) accounting for ?88.36% of the goose genome. Compared with previous goose assemblies, our assembly has more continuity, completeness, and accuracy; the annotation of core eukaryotic genes and universal single-copy orthologs has also been improved. We have identified 17,568 protein-coding genes and a repeat content of 8.67% (96.57 Mb) in this genome assembly. We also explored the spatial organization of chromatin and gene expression in the goose liver tissues, in terms of inter-pseudo-chromosomal interaction patterns, compartments, topologically associating domains, and promoter-enhancer interactions. CONCLUSIONS:We present the first chromosome-level assembly of the goose genome. This will be a valuable resource for future genetic and genomic studies on geese.
Project description:A diverse goose circovirus (GoCV) genome was recovered from a wild hunted greylag goose (Anser anser) in Poland. The genome shares 83% pairwise identity with other GoCV genomes recovered from various geese from China, Germany, and Taiwan.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The lack of a sufficient number of molecular markers seriously limits the cognition of genetic relationships within and between populations of many species. Likewise, the genetic diversity of domestic goose (Anser anser domesticus), with a great number of breeds throughout the world, remains poorly understood at the molecular level. FINDINGS:Thirty-five goose, seventeen duck and eight chicken microsatellite primer pairs were screened for their utility in the cross-species amplification on DNA from 96 individuals of Zatorska breed of domestic geese. Twenty-seven of 42 amplifying primer pairs revealed length-polymorphic products, but three of them were difficult to score. Fifteen primer pairs amplifying the same length product across all individuals. One polymorphic microsatellite locus was assigned by genotyping of known sex individuals to the Z-chromosome. CONCLUSIONS:We present a set of 24 polymorphic microsatellite markers useful for population genetic studies of the domestic goose. Another 15 markers were classified as monomorphic, but they might also be suitable for the assessment of genetic diversity in geese.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Knowledge on migration patterns and flyways is a key for understanding the dynamics of migratory populations and evolution of migratory behaviour. Bird migration is usually considered to be movements between breeding and wintering areas, while less attention has been paid to other long-distance movements such as moult migration.<h4>Methods</h4>We use high-resolution satellite-tracking data from 58 taiga bean geese Anser fabalis fabalis from the years 2019-2020, to study their moult migration during breeding season. We show the moulting sites, estimate the migratory connectivity between the breeding and the moulting sites, and estimate the utilization distributions during moult. We reveal migration routes and compare the length and timing of migration between moult migrants and successful breeders.<h4>Results</h4>All satellite-tracked non-breeding and unsuccessfully breeding taiga bean geese migrated annually to the island of Novaya Zemlya in the high Arctic for wing moult, meaning that a large part of the population gathers at the moulting sites outside the breeding range annually for approximately three months. Migratory connectivity between breeding and moulting sites was very low (r<sub>m</sub> = - 0.001, 95% CI - 0.1562-0.2897), indicating that individuals from different breeding grounds mix with each other on the moulting sites. Moult migrants began fall migration later in autumn than successful breeders, and their overall annual migration distance was over twofold compared to the successful breeders.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Regular moult migration makes the Arctic an equally relevant habitat for the taiga bean goose population as their boreal breeding and temperate wintering grounds, and links ecological communities in these biomes. Moult migration plays an important role in the movement patterns and spatio-temporal distribution of the population. Low migratory connectivity between breeding and moulting sites can potentially contribute to the gene flow within the population. Moult migration to the high Arctic exposes the population to the rapid impacts of global warming to Arctic ecosystems. Additionally, Novaya Zemlya holds radioactive contaminants from various sources, which might still pose a threat to moult migrants. Generally, these results show that moult migration may essentially contribute to the way we should consider bird migration and migratory flyways.