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Genetic Evidence for an East Asian Origin of Domestic Dogs

Science  22 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5598, pp. 1610-1613
DOI: 10.1126/science.1073906

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Abstract

The origin of the domestic dog from wolves has been established, but the number of founding events, as well as where and when these occurred, is not known. To address these questions, we examined the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence variation among 654 domestic dogs representing all major dog populations worldwide. Although our data indicate several maternal origins from wolf, >95% of all sequences belonged to three phylogenetic groups universally represented at similar frequencies, suggesting a common origin from a single gene pool for all dog populations. A larger genetic variation in East Asia than in other regions and the pattern of phylogeographic variation suggest an East Asian origin for the domestic dog, ∼15,000 years ago.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: savo{at}biotech.kth.se

  • Present address: Department of Biology, University of Konstanz, 78457 Konstanz, Germany.

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