DNA studies say ancient dogs belonged to different branches from modern wolves

Genomics researcher Anders Bergstrom and his colleagues recently sequenced the genomes of 27 dogs scattered among archaeological sites in Europe and Asia, which are known to be some 4,000 to 11,000 years old. By comparing the DNA of modern wolves with that of modern dogs, the researchers hope to solve the mystery of how dogs move around the world with people.

DNA studies say ancient dogs belonged to different branches from modern wolves

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It is reported that all the dogs in this study came from the same common ancestor. But as ancient populations expanded in different directions, they split into at least five branches.

Then, as the human population migrated and communicated, their domesticated ancient dogs largely reflected similar stories.

DNA studies say ancient dogs belonged to different branches from modern wolves

Study Figure 1 – The dog’s genome dates back to the 19th

“We can learn not only about the history of dogs, but also about human processes,” Anders Bergstrom of the Francis Crick Institute said in a statement.

Unfortunately, it is still not clear when ancient dogs were domesticated by humans. Even by 11,000 years ago, the history of ancient dogs was quite complicated.

DNA studies say ancient dogs belonged to different branches from modern wolves

Study Figure 2 – All detectable wolf/dog gene flows in a one-way and consistent direction

But the researchers believe this should have happened only once. Because the results of ancient genome sequencing show that all dogs have a common ancestor, but modern wolves do not.

Anders Bergstrom and his colleagues point out that this may well mean that the ancestors of modern dogs came from a wolf branch, but unfortunately they have disappeared from history.

DNA studies say ancient dogs belonged to different branches from modern wolves

Study Figure 3 – Quantitative comparison of the structure of the dog and the human genome

Details of the study have been published in the recently published journal Science, originally titled Origins and Genetic Legacy of Prehistoric Dogs.