Ancient DNA Evidence for Old World Origin of New World Dogs

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Science  22 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5598, pp. 1613-1616
DOI: 10.1126/science.1076980

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Mitochondrial DNA sequences isolated from ancient dog remains from Latin America and Alaska showed that native American dogs originated from multiple Old World lineages of dogs that accompanied late Pleistocene humans across the Bering Strait. One clade of dog sequences was unique to the New World, which is consistent with a period of geographic isolation. This unique clade was absent from a large sample of modern dogs, which implies that European colonists systematically discouraged the breeding of native American dogs.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: Leonard.Jennifer{at}

  • Present address: Genetics Program, Department of Systematic Biology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, 3001 Connecticut Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20008–0551, USA.

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