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Domestic chicken diversity: Origin, distribution, and adaptation

Lawal, Raman Akinyanju; Hanotte, Olivier

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Raman Akinyanju Lawal

Director of Frozen Ark Project & Professor of Genetics & Conservation


Chicken is the most numerous among the domesticated livestock species. Across cultures, religions, and societies, chicken is widely accepted with little or no taboo compared to other domestic animals. Its adaptability to diverse environmental conditions and demonstrated potential for breeding improvement provide a unique genetic resource for addressing the challenges of food security in a world impacted by climatic change and human population growth. Recent studies, shedding new knowledge on the chicken genomes, have helped reconstruct its past evolutionary history. Here, we review the literature concerning the origin, dispersion, and adaptation of domestic chicken. We highlight the role of human and natural selection in shaping the diversity of the species and provide a few examples of knowledge gaps that may be the focus of future research.


Lawal, R. A., & Hanotte, O. (2021). Domestic chicken diversity: Origin, distribution, and adaptation. Animal Genetics, 52(4), 385-394.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 7, 2021
Online Publication Date May 31, 2021
Publication Date 2021-08
Deposit Date May 27, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jun 1, 2022
Journal Animal Genetics
Print ISSN 0268-9146
Electronic ISSN 1365-2052
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 52
Issue 4
Pages 385-394
Public URL
Publisher URL


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