Thursday, July 31, 2008

Polynesian chickens in the pre-Columbian Americas...maybe not, after all

see here for the post about this from last year.

Indo-European and Asian origins for Chilean and Pacific chickens revealed by mtDNA
Jaime Gongora, Nicolas J. Rawlence, Victor A. Mobegi§, Han Jianlin, Jose A. Alcalde, Jose T. Matus, Olivier Hanotte, Chris Moran, Jeremy J. Austin, Sean Ulm, Atholl J. Anderson, Greger Larson, and Alan Cooper
Abstract: European chickens were introduced into the American continents by the Spanish after their arrival in the 15th century. However, there is ongoing debate as to the presence of pre-Columbian chickens among Amerindians in South America, particularly in relation to Chilean breeds such as the Araucana and Passion Fowl. To understand the origin of these populations, we have generated partial mitochondrial DNA control region sequences from 41 native Chilean specimens and compared them with a previously generated database of ≈1,000 domestic chicken sequences from across the world as well as published Chilean and Polynesian ancient DNA sequences. The modern Chilean sequences cluster closely with haplotypes predominantly distributed among European, Indian subcontinental, and Southeast Asian chickens, consistent with a European genetic origin. A published, apparently pre-Columbian, Chilean specimen and six pre-European Polynesian specimens also cluster with the same European/Indian subcontinental/Southeast Asian sequences, providing no support for a Polynesian introduction of chickens to South America. In contrast, sequences from two archaeological sites on Easter Island group with an uncommon haplogroup from Indonesia, Japan, and China and may represent a genetic signature of an early Polynesian dispersal. Modeling of the potential marine carbon contribution to the Chilean archaeological specimen casts further doubt on claims for pre-Columbian chickens, and definitive proof will require further analyses of ancient DNA sequences and radiocarbon and stable isotope data from archaeological excavations within both Chile and Polynesia.


Unknown said...

Do you know any more about the Chilean Passion Fowl mentioned in the article?

Yann Klimentidis said...


Kermit said...

The problem with this article is that the authors only used mtDNA, that is the DNA accrued from the mothers.
Nuclear DNA inherited from the sire indicates that the South American fowl share a common ancestor in one of the three respective chicken races native only to Easter Island.
The Easter Island Fowl mtDNA indicates that their female ancestors were not admixtured with the stock introduced from Europe.
It should also be noted that there is clear indication that China traded with Central America down to Ecuador in ancient times. Like the Micronesian seafarers that first settled Easter Island, the Chinese introduced their own race of domestic fowl to the "New World".

Kermit said...

Nikkei chickens carried to South America by Japanese peasants in the 19th century were also of a Japanese-European ancestry as their stock was an admixture of Japanese breeds interbred with highly prolific European breeds.

The so called "KFC" gene is a misnomer in that the specific genes are accrued from the Malayoid games carried by Austronesian seafarers everywhere they went. These Malayoid/Austronesian Fowl are the matriarchal foundation of most Polynesian (vs Micronesian) chicken races.
The idea that the Malayoid Game's genetics, which are the foundation of All European breeds, are somehow of European origin is yet another example of rampant Eurocentricism and directional bias.

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