Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genetic study confirms: First Dogs Came from East Asia

23.11.2011
Researchers at Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology say they have found further proof that the wolf ancestors of today’s domesticated dogs can be traced to southern East Asia — findings that run counter to theories placing the cradle of the canine line in the Middle East.

Dr Peter Savolainen, KTH researcher in evolutionary genetics, says a new study released Nov. 23 confirms that an Asian region south of the Yangtze River was the principal and probably sole region where wolves were domesticated by humans.

Data on genetics, morphology and behaviour show clearly that dogs are descended from wolves, but there’s never been scientific consensus on where in the world the domestication process began. “Our analysis of Y-chromosomal DNA now confirms that wolves were first domesticated in Asia south of Yangtze River — we call it the ASY region — in southern China or Southeast Asia”, Savolainen says.

The Y data supports previous evidence from mitochondrial DNA. “Taken together, the two studies provide very strong evidence that dogs originated in the ASY region”, Savolainen says.

Archaeological data and a genetic study recently published in Nature suggest that dogs originate from the Middle East. But Savolainen rejects that view. “Because none of these studies included samples from the ASY region, evidence from ASY has been overlooked,” he says.

Peter Savolainen and PhD student Mattias Oskarsson worked with Chinese colleagues to analyse DNA from male dogs around the world. Their study was published in the scientific journal Heredity.

Approximately half of the gene pool was universally shared everywhere in the world, while only the ASY region had the entire range of genetic diversity. “This shows that gene pools in all other regions of the world most probably originate from the ASY region”, Savolainen says.

“Our results confirm that Asia south of the Yangtze River was the most important — and probably the only — region for wolf domestication, and that a large number of wolves were domesticated”, says Savolainen.

In separate research published recently in Ecology and Evolution, Savolainen, PhD student Arman Ardalan and Iranian and Turkish scientists conducted a comprehensive study of mitochondrial DNA , with a particular focus on the Middle East. Because mitochondrial DNA is inherited only from the mother in most species, it is especially useful in studying evolutionary relationships.

“Since other studies have indicated that wolves were domesticated in the Middle East, we wanted to be sure nothing had been missed. We find no signs whatsoever that dogs originated there”, says Savolainen.

In their studies, the researchers also found minor genetic contributions from crossbreeding between dogs and wolves in other geographic regions, including the Middle East.

“This subsequent dog/wolf hybridisation contributed only modestly to the dog gene pool”, Savolainen explains.

KTH researchers Peter Savolainen, Mattias Oskarsson och Arman Ardalan work at the Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab www.scilifelab.se), a collaboration involving KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University, Karolinska Institutet and Uppsala University.

For more information: Peter Savolainen, +46 - 8 - 524 81 422; savo@kth.se

Katarina Ahlfort | idw
Further information:
http://www.nature.com/hdy/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/hdy2011114a.html
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Virtual "moonwalk" for science reveals distortions in spatial memory
18.11.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Autonomous Agriculture in 2045?
15.11.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Experimentelles Software Engineering IESE

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Small particles, big effects: How graphene nanoparticles improve the resolution of microscopes

Conventional light microscopes cannot distinguish structures when they are separated by a distance smaller than, roughly, the wavelength of light. Superresolution microscopy, developed since the 1980s, lifts this limitation, using fluorescent moieties. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research have now discovered that graphene nano-molecules can be used to improve this microscopy technique. These graphene nano-molecules offer a number of substantial advantages over the materials previously used, making superresolution microscopy even more versatile.

Microscopy is an important investigation method, in physics, biology, medicine, and many other sciences. However, it has one disadvantage: its resolution is...

Im Focus: Atoms don't like jumping rope

Nanooptical traps are a promising building block for quantum technologies. Austrian and German scientists have now removed an important obstacle to their practical use. They were able to show that a special form of mechanical vibration heats trapped particles in a very short time and knocks them out of the trap.

By controlling individual atoms, quantum properties can be investigated and made usable for technological applications. For about ten years, physicists have...

Im Focus: Images from NJIT's big bear solar observatory peel away layers of a stellar mystery

An international team of scientists, including three researchers from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), has shed new light on one of the central mysteries of solar physics: how energy from the Sun is transferred to the star's upper atmosphere, heating it to 1 million degrees Fahrenheit and higher in some regions, temperatures that are vastly hotter than the Sun's surface.

With new images from NJIT's Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO), the researchers have revealed in groundbreaking, granular detail what appears to be a likely...

Im Focus: New opportunities in additive manufacturing presented

Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden demonstrates manufacturing of copper components

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden has succeeded in using Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM) to...

Im Focus: New Pitt research finds carbon nanotubes show a love/hate relationship with water

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are valuable for a wide variety of applications. Made of graphene sheets rolled into tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, CNTs have an exceptional strength-to-mass ratio and excellent thermal and electrical properties. These features make them ideal for a range of applications, including supercapacitors, interconnects, adhesives, particle trapping and structural color.

New research reveals even more potential for CNTs: as a coating, they can both repel and hold water in place, a useful property for applications like printing,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

High entropy alloys for hot turbines and tireless metal-forming presses

05.11.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

The neocortex is critical for learning and memory

20.11.2019 | Life Sciences

4D imaging with liquid crystal microlenses

20.11.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Walking Changes Vision

20.11.2019 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>