The dog originated south of Yangtse river less than 16,000 years ago, from numerous wolves

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We here present a detailed picture of the origins of the dog, giving strong and precise evidence for 'where and when', and thereby also a first tentative picture of 'how, why and by whom' the wolf was domesticated. Previous studies of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) have failed to definitely establish the time and place of origin because of lack in phylogenetic resolution for the so far studied 582 bp region, and inadequate sampling across the world. We therefore analysed 169 mtDNA genomes, selected from partial sequences (582 bp) from 1,576 dogs worldwide. This shows that dogs universally share a common gene ... continued below

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Leitner, Thomas; Pang, Jun - Feng & Kluetsch, Cornelya January 1, 2009.

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We here present a detailed picture of the origins of the dog, giving strong and precise evidence for 'where and when', and thereby also a first tentative picture of 'how, why and by whom' the wolf was domesticated. Previous studies of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) have failed to definitely establish the time and place of origin because of lack in phylogenetic resolution for the so far studied 582 bp region, and inadequate sampling across the world. We therefore analysed 169 mtDNA genomes, selected from partial sequences (582 bp) from 1,576 dogs worldwide. This shows that dogs universally share a common gene pool, but the three earlier identified universally occurring phylogenetic clades ofhigh age consist often much younger subclades, which originated 5,000-16,000 ya from at least 48 wolf founders. The full range of genetic diversity, all 10 subclades, is found only in south-eastern Asia south of Yangtze River, and the diversity decreases gradually across Eurasia down to only four sub clades in Europe. This establishes that the dog has a single origin in time and space from a large number ofwolves, less than 16,000 ya, probably in China south of Y angtzeRiver. The place and time coincide with the origin of rice agriculture, suggesting an origin among sedentary hunter-gatherers or early rice farmers. The numerous founders indicate that wolf taming was an important cultural trait, and it is noticeable that in this region dogs are since ancient times used as food, offering a possible reason for the wolf domestication.

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  • Journal Name: Current Biology

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  • Report No.: LA-UR-09-00060
  • Report No.: LA-UR-09-60
  • Grant Number: AC52-06NA25396
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 956473
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc931884

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  • January 1, 2009

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  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2016, 3:48 p.m.

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Leitner, Thomas; Pang, Jun - Feng & Kluetsch, Cornelya. The dog originated south of Yangtse river less than 16,000 years ago, from numerous wolves, article, January 1, 2009; [New Mexico]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc931884/: accessed October 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.