Evaluating the roles of directed breeding and gene flow in animal domestication.
For the last 150 y scholars have focused upon the roles of intentional breeding and genetic isolation as fundamental to understanding the process of animal domestication. This analysis of ethnoarchaeological, archaeological, and genetic data suggests that long-term gene flow between wild and domestic stocks was much more common than previously assumed, and that selective breeding of females was largely absent during the early phases of animal domestication. These findings challenge assumptions about severe genetic bottlenecks during domestication, expectations regarding monophyletic origins, and interpretations of multiple domestications. The findings also raise new questions regarding ways in which behavioral and phenotypic domestication traits were developed and maintained.