Free Access
Genet. Sel. Evol.
Volume 35, Number 4, July-August 2003
Page(s) 403 - 423
Genet. Sel. Evol. 35 (2003) 403-423
DOI: 10.1051/gse:2003031

Evolutionary relationships of Red Jungle Fowl and chicken breeds

Irina G. Moiseyevaa, Michael N. Romanovb, Andrey A. Nikiforova, Antonina A. Sevastyanovac and Serafima K. Semyenovad

a  N.I. Vavilov Institute of General Genetics (RAS), Moscow 119991, Russia
b  Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, 2209 Biomedical Physical Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-4320, USA
c  All-Russian Poultry Research and Technological Institute (RAAS), Sergiev Posad, Moscow Region 141300, Russia
d  Institute of Gene Biology (RAS), Moscow 119334, Russia

(Received 2 January 2002; accepted 20 December 2002)

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.

Key words: Red Jungle Fowl / chicken breeds / evolution / genetic relationship / biodiversity

Correspondence and reprints: Michael N. Romanov

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2003