Home » Bone of the Month » New Genome Sequence Investigates Early Dog History

New Genome Sequence Investigates Early Dog History

Demographic model of dog domestication. Taken from Freedman et al. (2014) paper Fig. 5.

Demographic model of dog domestication. Taken from Freedman et al. (2014) paper Fig. 5.

A new study by Freedman et al. (2014) sequences the genomes of six canids including wolves, a dingo and a jackal to investigate the size of the ancestral wolf population at the time of wolf/dog divergence and the geographic origins and timing of dog domestication. By generating high-quality genome sequences they concluded that dogs diverged from wolves around 15,000 years ago, with the wolf populations facing a bottleneck around the same time. This bottleneck implies that there was more genetic diversity for selection to act on then in currently seen in modern wolves.

This is a really interesting article, even with the small number of genomes sequenced, and could provide important insights to dog evolution, selection and genetics. The full artilce also discusses admixture between wolves and dogs as well as an alternative model for dog domestication where the original wolf population that dogs are descended from went extinct.

For the full article visit PLOS Genetics. Full citation for the paper is: Freedman, A. H., I. Gronau, et al. (2014). “Genome Sequencing Highlights the Dynamic Early History of Dogs.” PLoS Genet 10(1): e1004016.

 

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