Do you have a pet like rabbit or dog? Do you enjoy the time with them? Can you imagine what they are like before they were domesticated? Will they be as tamed as they are now?
Actually the domestication of animals and plants, an important condition of the development of agriculture, can date back to 9000 or the more 15,000 years ago which originally involved in dogs, cattle, pigs and goats. However, the domestication of rabbit seemed to be later, which started 1,400 years ago.
A recent study chose rabbit as a model for genetic study of domestication. For this, the researchers listed two key reasons---the time of the domestication of rabbit is near and the place of this is known. The scientists first sequenced the entire genome of one domestic rabbit to develop a reference genome assembly. Then they resequenced entire genomes of domestic rabbits representing six different breeds and wild rabbits sampled at 14 different places across the Iberian Peninsula and southern France. Once Darwin had written like this: “no animal is more difficult to be tamed than the young wild rabbit; scarcely any animal is tamer than the young of the tame rabbit.” The data of the research showed that domestication mainly involved slight changes among a large number of genes not huge changes in small number of genes.
Interestingly, when the domesticated rabbit was released in wild environment, there’s possibility that the genes changed in the domestication may be reselected because they were not completely lost.
The researchers found the genes that have been alerted in the domestication, but whether this process in the rabbit will suits in other animals is still a mystery.