November 15, 2013

European origin of domesticated dogs

It seems like yesterday that a paper suggested a Southeast Asian origin of domestic dogs. It always seems that ancient DNA upsets inferences from modern populations alone.

Science 15 November 2013: Vol. 342 no. 6160 pp. 871-874

Complete Mitochondrial Genomes of Ancient Canids Suggest a European Origin of Domestic Dogs

O. Thalmann et al.

The geographic and temporal origins of the domestic dog remain controversial, as genetic data suggest a domestication process in East Asia beginning 15,000 years ago, whereas the oldest doglike fossils are found in Europe and Siberia and date to >30,000 years ago. We analyzed the mitochondrial genomes of 18 prehistoric canids from Eurasia and the New World, along with a comprehensive panel of modern dogs and wolves. The mitochondrial genomes of all modern dogs are phylogenetically most closely related to either ancient or modern canids of Europe. Molecular dating suggests an onset of domestication there 18,800 to 32,100 years ago. These findings imply that domestic dogs are the culmination of a process that initiated with European hunter-gatherers and the canids with whom they interacted.



eurologist said...

Another day, another origin of dogs...

Given archaeological finds, an origin between W Siberia and E Europe has always made most sense. Also, datings around 30,000 ya might very well explain the apparent advantage of the people of the Gravettian.

Of course, we also need y-DNA and autosomal analysis for a fuller record. For example, the statement in the paper of early (Belgian) lineages to have died out is completely premature - it is just based on mtDNA.

Conversely, additional E Siberian lineages may have played a role in American dogs, but not much outside of there.

Rokus said...

Their new phylogeny of dogs and wolves is most remarkable, since this actually elaborates massive introgression of early dog-like lineages at the root of dog clades D and A back into wild populations of wolves. Just take a good look and discover that dog clades D, A and C are ancestral to the mtDNA of virtually all modern wolves having Pilot at al.'s haplotype 1 (that now apparently includes the second largest dog clade B as well). This may explain the complete lack of haplogroup 1 and mtDNA B in the paleolithic samples.I am not surprised, since this probably also happened with feral chicken DNA to the expense of wild diversity in the red junglefowl.
Sure, the Altai specimen was ancestral to clade D (and thus also more or less ancestral to clade A), and the Goyet dog in Belgium was ancestral to the Altai specimen. This could all be discarted as extinct diversity and sister clades, like Thalmann et al. already did. But the Trou de la Naulette site may suggest that wild canids could already have found significant selective advantages in human cohabitation since Neanderthal, so if this was the true course of dog and modern wolf evolution, I wonder what was the human relation of the Beringian wolves whose mtDNA converge to the roots of dog clades D, A and C. The oldest specimen of this megafaunal wolf (with short and wide dog-like snouts) was dated 28,000 BP, about the time the first Amerindians may have entered the New World.

Fanty said...

I never really liked the idea that people started to domest dogs for food. ;-P

Isnt it always claimed that dogs as a whole seem heavily selected on beeing geniusses at communication with the human race? (for example: understands human facial expression, is able to follow commands given by human eyes. things that wolfs completely fail at, even if raised by humans together with dog stepbretheren. In other words: dogs apear genetically created to serve human commands.

Who wood select food animals on cominication ability? Wouldnt one select them on amounts of meat? Haha ;)

Hmm... or is it that only western Euroasian dogs hae these communication abilities and East Asian ones are dumb as wolfs?

Unknown said...

I liked it so much. you are doing good work and keep it continuous...

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