December 15, 2012

Local Origin of Domestic Pigs in the Upstream Region of the Yangtze River (Jin et al. 2012)

PLoS ONE 7(12): e51649. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051649

Mitochondrial DNA Evidence Indicates the Local Origin of Domestic Pigs in the Upstream Region of the Yangtze River

Long Jin et al.

Previous studies have indicated two main domestic pig dispersal routes in East Asia: one is from the Mekong region, through the upstream region of the Yangtze River (URYZ) to the middle and upstream regions of the Yellow River, the other is from the middle and downstream regions of the Yangtze River to the downstream region of the Yellow River, and then to northeast China. The URYZ was regarded as a passageway of the former dispersal route; however, this assumption remains to be further investigated. We therefore analyzed the hypervariable segements of mitochondrial DNA from 513 individual pigs mainly from Sichuan and the Tibet highlands and 1,394 publicly available sequences from domestic pigs and wild boars across Asia. From the phylogenetic tree, most of the samples fell into a mixed group that was difficult to distinguish by breed or geography. The total network analysis showed that the URYZ pigs possessed a dominant position in haplogroup A and domestic pigs shared the same core haplotype with the local wild boars, suggesting that pigs in group A were most likely derived from the URYZ pool. In addition, a region-wise network analysis determined that URYZ contains 42 haplotypes of which 22 are unique indicating the high diversity in this region. In conclusion, our findings confirmed that pigs from the URYZ were domesticated in situ.


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