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Artificial Selection. Artificial Selection. Humans deliberately breed together organisms with desired traits. They provide an artificial “selection pressure”. This can lead to a great divergence from “wildtype” traits.

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artificial selection1
Artificial Selection
  • Humans deliberately breed together organisms with desired traits.
  • They provide an artificial “selection pressure”.
  • This can lead to a great divergence from “wildtype” traits.
  • Traits that are non-adaptive in the wildtype may be expressed in the domestic version.
importance of domestication
Importance of Domestication
  • Allowed for agriculture and hence to ability to settle down (as opposed to being nomadic).
  • Being able to settle allowed more time to develop technology.
  • It has allowed human to produce crops that:
    • produce a higher yield per area (e.g. larger grains, more per plant)
    • Are easier to process (e.g. seeds come away from stem more easily, wheat easy to separate from chaff).
    • Put more energy into building edible parts.
  • It has lead to the development of animals that:
    • Are easier to handle.
    • Provide transport or move goods.
    • Beast of burden (to help til the soil or grind grain)
    • Animals that can assist human (such as hunting dogs, sheep dogs etc.)
examples of artificial selection
Examples of artificial selection
  • Domestication of: wolves, cats, horses, cows, chickens, pigeons etc.
  • Wheat, corn, mustard plants, apples, ornamental flowers.
  • Accidental artificial selection: bacteria that become resistant to antibiotics, smaller fish
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