Destabilizing Selection as a Factor in Domestication

This article discusses the role of destabilizing selection in the process of domestication. The author argues that domestication is not simply a process of selecting for desirable traits, but also involves a process of destabilizing selection, in which individuals with extreme or unusual traits are favored. The author provides examples of destabilizing selection in domesticated animals, such as the floppy ears of dogs and the curly tails of pigs. The author suggests that destabilizing selection may be a result of the relaxed selection pressures in domesticated environments, which allow for the expression of traits that would be disadvantageous in the wild. The author also discusses the potential implications of destabilizing selection for the health and welfare of domesticated animals, as extreme traits may be associated with health problems or behavioral issues. Overall, this article provides a valuable perspective on the process of domestication and highlights the importance of considering the role of destabilizing selection in shaping the traits of domesticated animals.

Belyaev, D. K. (1979). Destabilizing selection as a factor in domestication. Journal of Heredity, 70(5), 301-308.

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