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Barking up the wrong tree: Modern northern European dogs fail to explain their origin
Uppsala Univ, Dept Evolutionary Biol, SE-75236 Uppsala, Sweden.
Uppsala Univ, Dept Evolutionary Biol, SE-75236 Uppsala, Sweden.
Univ Copenhagen, Inst Biol, Ctr Ancient Genet, DK-1168 Copenhagen, Denmark.
Stockholm Univ, Osteoarchaeol Res Lab, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
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2008 (English)In: BMC Evolutionary Biology, ISSN 1471-2148, Vol. 8, 71- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Geographic distribution of the genetic diversity in domestic animals, particularly mitochondrial DNA, has often been used to infer centers of domestication. The underlying presumption is that phylogeographic patterns among domesticates were established during, or shortly after the domestication. Human activities are assumed not to have altered the haplogroup frequencies to any great extent. We studied this hypothesis by analyzing 24 mtDNA sequences in ancient Scandinavian dogs. Breeds originating in northern Europe are characterized by having a high frequency of mtDNA sequences belonging to a haplogroup rare in other populations (HgD). This has been suggested to indicate a possible origin of the haplogroup (perhaps even a separate domestication) in central or northern Europe. Results: The sequences observed in the ancient samples do not include the haplogroup indicative for northern European breeds (HgD). Instead, several of them correspond to haplogroups that are uncommon in the region today and that are supposed to have Asian origin. Conclusion: We find no evidence for local domestication. We conclude that interpretation of the processes responsible for current domestic haplogroup frequencies should be carried out with caution if based only on contemporary data. They do not only tell their own story, but also that of humans.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 8, 71- p.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-53473DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-8-71OAI: diva2:290040
Available from: 2010-01-25 Created: 2010-01-25 Last updated: 2010-01-25

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Holmlund, Gunilla
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Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineFaculty of Health Sciences
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