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1,000 ancient genomes: gene-economy innovation in cattle, sheep and goat

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 885729

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 December 2020

  • End date

    30 November 2025

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 499 198,75

  • EU contribution

    € 2 499 198,75

Hosted by:

THE PROVOST, FELLOWS, FOUNDATION SCHOLARS & THE OTHER MEMBERS OF BOARD OF THE COLLEGE OF THE HOLY & UNDIVIDED TRINITY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH NEAR DUBLIN

Ireland

Objective

The genetic threads of goat, cattle and sheep ancestry have been woven by human breeding, environmental pressures, hybridisation and the chance effects of genetic drift. The ancestral weaves of these key animals intertwine with human creativity in the most profoundly innovative episodes of the human past. Three broad episodes of particular import were: initial domestications circa 11 kya in Southwest Asia; the intensification circa 6 kya of use of those animal products which are harvested without killing such as wool, milk and traction; and the development of exceptionally productive landraces, later formalized into breeds, in recent millennia. However, each of these is loosely defined in time and space, the key traits are often osteologically invisible, and the vectors of causality in their virtuous cycles of gene-economy innovation are completely unknown.

A combination of high coverage ancient whole genome data coupled with new analysis methods that allow efficient computation of genomewide locus genealogies will be used to untangle the threads of ancestry in sheep, cattle and goat across the whole genome in these transformative phases. Combining these with additional low coverage genomes generated from less preserved samples will generate a total set of 1,000 ancient animal genomes. These data will be unprecedented and will allow tracking of selection at trait genes, in order to detect human agency in breeding and, in collaboration with archaeologist partners, asking are there periods and places where threads of innovation coalesce. The project will also use ancient epigenetics to explore archaeological variation in gene activation patterns and will seek to understand the problematic build up of harmful mutations that threaten livestock today. With cognate disciplines, it will compare signals of animal mobility identifying distinct genetic strata correlating with archaeological horizons and affording the prospect of DNA-dating in future excavation.

Host institution

THE PROVOST, FELLOWS, FOUNDATION SCHOLARS & THE OTHER MEMBERS OF BOARD OF THE COLLEGE OF THE HOLY & UNDIVIDED TRINITY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH NEAR DUBLIN

Address

College Green
2 Dublin

Ireland

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 2 499 198,75

Beneficiaries (1)

THE PROVOST, FELLOWS, FOUNDATION SCHOLARS & THE OTHER MEMBERS OF BOARD OF THE COLLEGE OF THE HOLY & UNDIVIDED TRINITY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH NEAR DUBLIN

Ireland

EU Contribution

€ 2 499 198,75

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 885729

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 December 2020

  • End date

    30 November 2025

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 499 198,75

  • EU contribution

    € 2 499 198,75

Hosted by:

THE PROVOST, FELLOWS, FOUNDATION SCHOLARS & THE OTHER MEMBERS OF BOARD OF THE COLLEGE OF THE HOLY & UNDIVIDED TRINITY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH NEAR DUBLIN

Ireland