Population genetic theory predicts that beneficial mutations are either lost by genetic drift or increase in frequency until they become fixed in a population. This statistically detectable difference compared to a situation expected purely by chance is called a signature of selection. Within the population, a selection signature tends to drastically reduce variation, but will not lead to a reduction in species specific differences. Conversely, negative selection acting on multiple loci will reduce variability between species more drastically than the variability within species.

In this project we aim to extend the knowledge regarding selection signatures, with the main goal of identifying loci involved in bovine phenotypic differentiation through application of selection signatures methodologies on whole genome sequence data from various cattle breeds with different production focus, i.e. beef, milk and dual purpose.

Currently, we are working in the first step of determining ancestral alleles of cattle from outgroup species of Banteng, Yak, Bison, Gaur, and Gayal. This dataset is required for next step of selection signatures analysis. In general, the workflow of this PhD project is below.