Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First dogs came from East Asia, genetic study confirms

Date:
November 28, 2011
Source:
Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish)
Summary:
Researchers 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.

Researchers at Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology say their genetic studies provide “very strong evidence” that wolves were first domesticated in southern East Asia.
Credit: Ya-Ping Zhang

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.

Related Articles


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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Z-L Ding, M Oskarsson, A Ardalan, H Angleby, L-G Dahlgren, C Tepeli, E Kirkness, P Savolainen, Y-P Zhang. Origins of domestic dog in Southern East Asia is supported by analysis of Y-chromosome DNA. Heredity, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/hdy.2011.114

Cite This Page:

Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). "First dogs came from East Asia, genetic study confirms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111123132937.htm>.
Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). (2011, November 28). First dogs came from East Asia, genetic study confirms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111123132937.htm
Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). "First dogs came from East Asia, genetic study confirms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111123132937.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) A string of black bear attacks has Florida officials considering lifting the ban on hunting the animals to control their population. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) Experts estimate Ebola has wiped out one-third of the world&apos;s gorillas and chimpanzees. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) Activists hope the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) will label killer whales endangered, allowing lawyers to sue a Miami aquarium to release an orca into the wild after 44 years. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

Buzz60 (Jan. 23, 2015) Some &apos;healthy&apos; foods are actually fattening. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) shines a light on the sneaky foods like nuts, seeds, granola, trail mix, avocados, guacamole, olive oil, peanut butter, fruit juices and salads that are good for you...but not so much for your waistline. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins