Ancient DNA supports lineage replacement in European dog gene pool: insight into Neolithic South-East France

Université Bordeaux 1, UMR 5199 PACEA, Institut de Préhistoire et Géologie du Quaternaire, bât. B18, av. des Facultés, 33405 Talence cedex, France
Journal of Archaeological Science (Impact Factor: 2.2). 02/2009; 36(2):513-519. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2008.10.011


We report palaeogenetic analysis of domesticated dog (Canis familiaris) remains excavated from three archaeological sites from southeast France and dating from Middle Neolithic. Ancient DNA analysis was attempted on teeth and bone samples taken from 11 dogs. Three 266-base-pair fragments of the mitochondrial genome Hypervariable Region I (HVR-I) could be retrieved and revealed two haplotypes belonging to HVR-I lineage C. These three sequences were compared to the sequences of Swedish and Italian Neolithic dogs and permitted to confirm that clade C was largely represented all over Western Europe during this period. One haplotype defined in Neolithic French dog was observed for the first time in Canis mtDNA, underlining the loss of mitochondrial diversity in Europe since the Neolithic. Finally, these results point out mitochondrial lineage replacement in Europe, since lineage C represents only 5% of extant European dogs. Altogether, these results support the proposition that palaeogenetic studies are essential for the reconstruction of the past demographic history and the domestication process of dogs.

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Available from: Marie-France Deguilloux,
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    • "Studies utilizing ancient DNA have revealed that the genetic composition of haplotypes in dog populations throughout much of the Americas and even Europe have changed dramatically over a few thousand to even just a few hundred years (Barta, 2007; Castroviejo-Fisher et al., 2011; Deguilloux et al., 2008; Leonard et al., 2002; Malmström et al., 2008). Such lineage replacement has taken place through the introduction of modern, primarily European breeds. "
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    • "A recent ancient DNA (aDNA) study has demonstrated that in some cases, it is possible to differentiate the domestic versus wild status of some morphologically ambiguous canid remains recovered from archaeological contexts (Horsburgh 2009). While the majority of canid DNA studies have focused on modern populations (e.g., Savolainen 2006), aDNA work on archaeological dog samples continues to identify ancient dog haplotypes (e.g., Deguilloux et al. 2009 "
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    • "The final sequences were deposited in GenBank: HQ585886 and HQ585887, for the BE-20 bone and modern control, respectively. A Neighbor-Joining tree (Saitou and Nei, 1987) was generated using the program Mega 4 (Tamura et al., 2007), which included data for the BE20 bone sample and the modern lab control aligned to previously published data (Vilà et al., 1997; Vilà et al., 1999; Leonard et al., 2002; Malmstrom et al., 2005; Verginelli et al., 2005; Deguilloux et al., 2009). We assume a Tamura-Nei evolutionary model (1993). "
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