Monday, October 19, 2015

Did Dogs Originate In Mongolia Or Tibet?

Dog genetics are most diverse in Mongolia and Tibet and show a roughly clinal trend towards less diversity with distance away from that area, suggesting that the domesticated dog may have originated there. But, there are conflicting indications from different kinds of data.
Dogs were the first domesticated species, originating at least 15,000 y ago from Eurasian gray wolves. Dogs today consist primarily of two specialized groups—a diverse set of nearly 400 pure breeds and a far more populous group of free-ranging animals adapted to a human commensal lifestyle (village dogs). Village dogs are more genetically diverse and geographically widespread than purebred dogs making them vital for unraveling dog population history. Using a semicustom 185,805-marker genotyping array, we conducted a large-scale survey of autosomal, mitochondrial, and Y chromosome diversity in 4,676 purebred dogs from 161 breeds and 549 village dogs from 38 countries. Geographic structure shows both isolation and gene flow have shaped genetic diversity in village dog populations. Some populations (notably those in the Neotropics and the South Pacific) are almost completely derived from European stock, whereas others are clearly admixed between indigenous and European dogs. Importantly, many populations—including those of Vietnam, India, and Egypt—show minimal evidence of European admixture. These populations exhibit a clear gradient of short-range linkage disequilibrium consistent with a Central Asian domestication origin.
L. Shannon et al., Genetic structure in village dogs reveals a Central Asian domestication origin, PNAS (Published online October 19, 2015).


Marnie said...

My vote: Dogs were probably domesticated across an arc extending from Eastern Europe to Mongolia.

The most salient finding of this paper is that domestication occurred about 15,000 years ago, which places the domestication event firmly in the Late Upper Paleolithic.

Personally, my vote would be that dogs were in a state of quasi domestication for a very long time. As long as megafauna were plentiful, wolves didn't need to become fully domesticated. It was only with the demise of many large mammals that dogs became fully domesticated.

In any case, give high mobility in the Upper Paleolithic, and the long time scale, I think it very unlikely that domestication occurred specifically in Tibet or specifically in Mongolia.

Matty K said...

What about this:

DDeden said...

My vote: A pack of Tibetan wolves were isolated on Phu Quoc Island south of Cambodia, Pygmies (ancestral to SamrePear) using woven coracles (mongolu{Mbuti]:night/moon hut = inverted harigolu[India]:day/sun-boat) found them and domesticated them 45ka but deliberate breeding for traits began 15ka with incipient agriculture and territorial sedentary advantages.

andrew said...

The 15kya estimate does seem on the recent end given the presence of dogs in the Founding population of the New World, and archaic evidence of earlier domestication. Perhaps there was a LGM and immediate post-LGM bottleneck similar to that observed in humans.

DDeden said...

I added new comment at Paleo-Asian post II.