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The evolutionary history of dogs in the Americas

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

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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

  • These authors cosupervised this work.