Report

The evolutionary history of dogs in the Americas

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  06 Jul 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6397, pp. 81-85
DOI: 10.1126/science.aao4776

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Lineage losses for man's best friend

Dogs have been present in North America for at least 9000 years. To better understand how present-day breeds and populations reflect their introduction to the New World, Ní Leathlobhair et al. sequenced the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes of ancient dogs (see the Perspective by Goodman and Karlsson). The earliest New World dogs were not domesticated from North American wolves but likely originated from a Siberian ancestor. Furthermore, these lineages date back to a common ancestor that coincides with the first human migrations across Beringia. This lineage appears to have been mostly replaced by dogs introduced by Europeans, with the primary extant lineage remaining as a canine transmissible venereal tumor.

Science, this issue p. 81; see also p. 27

Abstract

Dogs were present in the Americas before the arrival of European colonists, but the origin and fate of these precontact dogs are largely unknown. We sequenced 71 mitochondrial and 7 nuclear genomes from ancient North American and Siberian dogs from time frames spanning ~9000 years. Our analysis indicates that American dogs were not derived from North American wolves. Instead, American dogs form a monophyletic lineage that likely originated in Siberia and dispersed into the Americas alongside people. After the arrival of Europeans, native American dogs almost completely disappeared, leaving a minimal genetic legacy in modern dog populations. The closest detectable extant lineage to precontact American dogs is the canine transmissible venereal tumor, a contagious cancer clone derived from an individual dog that lived up to 8000 years ago.

  • These authors cosupervised this work.

View Full Text