Agusto Luzuriaga-Neira (CIBIO-InBIO) | May 18, 2018 - 15h00 | CIBIO-InBIO’s Auditorium, Campus de Vairão




Chicken is one of most important protein sources in the world. After being domesticated in South and Southeast Asia, this species spread across the world and became adapted to wide range of different environments. This adaptation coupled with differential artificial selection produced a broad number of biological, morphological, and behavior changes. Among these is the specialization of some breeds to lay a large number of eggs (layers), while other breeds have very pronounced breast and leg muscles development (broilers) or, long necks and strong legs and aggressive behavior for fighting (game fowls). Although, domestic chicken is one of the most studied livestock species with the genome sequence available from 2004, very little is known about the dispersal routes through which chickens spread after domestication. With respect to this, the origin of the South American chicken is very interesting as its history may mirror the history of human populations in this sub-continent. In the last decade, scholars have been intensively debating two hypotheses on the origin of domestic chicken in South America: One, based on recent archaeological discoveries, proposes a pre-Columbian arrival of chickens to South America, brought by Polynesians by the Pacific route and, the other, defends that chickens were only introduced by the European colonizers that entered the American continent after 1492 A.D..

Agusto Luzuriaga-Neira has a graduation in Environmental Sciences engineering from the Universidad Nacional de Loja (Ecuador), and a MSc. in Genomics Biotechnology from the Instituto Politécnico Nacional (Mexico). He is ending his doctoral dissertation at the BIODIV Doctoral program under the supervision of Dr. Albano Beja-Pereira (AGRIGENOMICS group). His Ph.D. project is focused on the demographic history of South American Chicken Populations.

[Host: Albano Beja-Pereira, Livestock Genomics and Conservation]

Image credits: Grabado de Pierre Loti (Julián Viaud), 1872