View Full Version : DNA hint of European origin for dogs

Clinton P
11-14-2013, 08:10 PM
"The results of a DNA study suggest that dogs were domesticated in Europe."

"The new research, based on a genetic analysis of ancient and modern dog and wolf samples, points to a European origin at least 18,000 years ago."

Dr Thalmann, from Finland's University of Turku, and his team, report the investigation in Science magazine.

Click here (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24946944) to read more about this story.

Clinton P

11-14-2013, 08:35 PM
It seems like the theory on the origin of domesticated dogs changes every few months.

11-15-2013, 03:55 AM
It is unclear whether they are actively examining the Y chromosomes of ancient and modern dogs. My understanding is that the original domestication of wild animals--horses, dogs/wolves, etc.--depends upon breeding tame males. Thus, yDNA is a much better indicator of domestication than mtDNA.

Joe B
11-15-2013, 04:28 AM
It is unclear whether they are actively examining the Y chromosomes of ancient and modern dogs. My understanding is that the original domestication of wild animals--horses, dogs/wolves, etc.--depends upon breeding tame males. Thus, yDNA is a much better indicator of domestication than mtDNA.
Never thought about male or female and original domestication. With herd or pack animals, the alpha male is something that was probably observed and factored into breeding practices.
An angry mare wouldn't be a good thing. Having control of both the male and female would be critical for breeding. Female control would be important for allowing access to pups, calves or foals.

Can you imagine that first campfire conversation while eating a dog or horse.
"I wonder if we can put a harness on a bunch of dogs and let them pull that sled."
"You first, I'll just watch."

11-10-2016, 03:43 AM
Nice article on ancient DNA and Dog Genomics

A New Origin Story for Dogs

"In recent decades, scientists have become increasingly successful at extracting and sequencing strands of DNA from fossils. This ancient DNA has done wonders for our understanding of our own evolution. It showed, for example, how Europe was colonized 40,000 years ago by hunter-gatherers moving up from Africa, then 8,000 years ago by Middle Eastern farmers, and 5,000 years ago by horse-riding herders from the Russian steppes. “Everyone in Europe today is a blend of those three populations,” says Larson, who hopes to parse the dog genome in the same way, by slicing it into its constituent ingredients."


11-10-2016, 10:59 AM
From Heber's article

Adam Boyko from Cornell University does, too: after studying the genes of village dogs—free-ranging mutts that live near human settlements—he argued for a single domestication in Central Asia, somewhere near India or Nepal. And clearly, Larson does as well.

There is two theories to dog domestication. Central Asia / China or Europe. Personally, given the 33,000-year-old skull, and the Bering Land Bridge that took both man & wolf / dog across to the Americas, it was probably somewhere in or near Russia. So it could have very well have been Asia.

And yet, out of all known dog breeds, it is Asian [by far the more numerous], African & Mid-Eastern breeds which are far closer to the wolf. And before you say Asia is the only place with wolves - all three regions have wolf subspecies. Yet only the Siberian, Samoyed [a curious breed given as it was widely an indigenous breed once so its origins could as readily be Asia], & Malamute are outside that region. Still eleven dog breeds versus three breeds sort of speaks for itself.

11-10-2016, 01:07 PM
This is a fairly recent article.

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiVxfCMnp7QAhUsDMAKHQC4Ax4QFggrMAI&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sciencenews.org%2Farticle%2F ancient-dna-tells-two-origins-dogs&usg=AFQjCNHr6yCn-r-VqXp4H4IkZSTr4Eoqpw&sig2=J5seuMmf-mhpILVB1J4AZg
I have the feeling that it is quite possible that dog domestication happened more than once and probably in more than one place and possibly that it goes back much further than we currently appreciate. I also tend to agree with the theory that dogs may have largely self-domesticated and maybe there could have been a genetic factor which produced an increased inclination to tameness? As I understand it even today modern wolves aren't easy to domesticate.
Studies of foxes have demonstrated that selection for tameness also results in physical changes. John

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjNnoSeoJ7QAhUkL8AKHTPMB7YQFggtMAE&url=https%3A%2F%2Fblogs.scientificamerican.com%2Ft houghtful-animal%2Fmonday-pets-the-russian-fox-study%2F&usg=AFQjCNEbAh4eiUl7vkmVlKiwVkkRqWM1pQ&sig2=LmA5Ft3umovzaWZ3flGagw

11-10-2016, 01:22 PM
Genomic and archaeological evidence suggest a dual origin of domestic dogs

The geographic and temporal origins of dogs remain controversial. We generated genetic sequences from 59 ancient dogs and a complete (28x) genome of a late Neolithic dog (dated to ~4800 calendar years before the present) from Ireland. Our analyses revealed a deep split separating modern East Asian and Western Eurasian dogs. Surprisingly, the date of this divergence (~14,000 to 6400 years ago) occurs commensurate with, or several millennia after, the first appearance of dogs in Europe and East Asia. Additional analyses of ancient and modern mitochondrial DNA revealed a sharp discontinuity in haplotype frequencies in Europe. Combined, these results suggest that dogs may have been domesticated independently in Eastern and Western Eurasia from distinct wolf populations. East Eurasian dogs were then possibly transported to Europe with people, where they partially replaced European Paleolithic dogs.


11-11-2016, 03:53 PM
Amy2B copy number variation reveals starch diet adaptations in ancient European dogs

Morgane Ollivier, Anne Tresset, Fabiola Bastian, Laetitia Lagoutte, Erik Axelsson, Maja-Louise Arendt, Adrian Bălăşescu, Marjan Marshour, Mikhail V. Sablin, Laure Salanova, Jean-Denis Vigne, Christophe Hitte, Catherine Hänni

Extant dog and wolf DNA indicates that dog domestication was accompanied by the selection of a series of duplications on the Amy2B gene coding for pancreatic amylase. In this study, we used a palaeogenetic approach to investigate the timing and expansion of the Amy2B gene in the ancient dog populations of Western and Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to estimate the copy numbers of this gene for 13 ancient dog samples, dated to between 15 000 and 4000 years before present (cal. BP). This evidenced an increase of Amy2B copies in ancient dogs from as early as the 7th millennium cal. BP in Southeastern Europe. We found that the gene expansion was not fixed across all dogs within this early farming context, with ancient dogs bearing between 2 and 20 diploid copies of the gene. The results also suggested that selection for the increased Amy2B copy number started 7000 years cal. BP, at the latest. This expansion reflects a local adaptation that allowed dogs to thrive on a starch rich diet, especially within early farming societies, and suggests a biocultural coevolution of dog genes and human culture.


11-11-2016, 03:58 PM
The Origins of Dogs

In addition to collecting DNA from hundreds of modern wolves as well as mutts and purebred dogs, the dual-origin researchers extracted DNA from dozens of ancient dogs, including a particularly high-value sample from a 4,800-year-old animal unearthed in Newgrange, Ireland.

“The ancient [Newgrange] dog had ancestry not found in modern dogs or in modern wolves,” says Mietje Germonpré, who was not part of the dual-origin team. The Belgian paleontologist has studied the remains of other older canids in Eurasia and believes some of them were early dogs — a controversial theory, but one this new research suggests may be correct.

“It’s the first hint toward what’s out there,” says Thalmann, who also wasn’t involved in the research. “It’s a wake-up call. The theory about multiple origins and timing was out there for some time, but this is the first evidence for it genetically.”