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The Evolutionary History of Dogs in the Americas

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Murchison, EP 


Dogs were present in the Americas prior to the arrival of European colonists, but the origin and fate of these pre-contact dogs are largely unknown. We sequenced 71 mitochondrial and seven nuclear genomes from ancient North American and Siberian dogs spanning ~9,000 years. Our analysis indicates that American dogs were not domesticated from North American wolves. Instead, American dogs form a monophyletic lineage that likely originated in Siberia and dispersed into the Americas alongside people. After the arrival of Europeans, native American dogs almost completely disappeared, leaving a minimal genetic legacy in modern dog populations. Remarkably, the closest detectable extant lineage to pre-contact American dogs is the canine transmissible venereal tumor, a contagious cancer clone derived from an individual dog that lived up to 8,000 years ago.



Americas, Animals, Biological Evolution, Cell Nucleus, Dog Diseases, Dogs, Domestication, Genome, Mitochondrial, Human Migration, Humans, Neoplasms, Phylogeny, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Siberia, Wolves

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American Association for the Advancement of Science
Wellcome Trust (102942/Z/13/Z)
Leverhulme Trust (PLP-2014-131)
L.A.F.F. was supported by the Wellcome Trust (210119/Z/18/Z) and by Wolfson College (University of Oxford). L.A.F.F., J.H, A.L., A. H-B, O.L., K.M.D. and G.L. were supported either by a European Research Council grant (ERC-2013- StG-337574-UNDEAD) or Natural Environmental Research Council grants (NE/K005243/1 and NE/K003259/1), or both. M.N.L. and E.P.M. were supported by the Wellcome Trust (102942/Z/13/A). A.R.P. was supported by the Max Planck Society. E.K.I.P. was supported by a Clarendon Fund Scholarship, University of Oxford. M.T.P.G was supported by European Research Council grant (ERC-2015-CoG-681396 – Extinction Genomics). A.M. was supported by the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle. K.E.W. and R.S.M were supported by a National Science Foundation grant (BCS-1540336) and a Wenner-Gren grant. V.G. was supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant. V.V.P., E.Y.P., and P.A.N. were supported by Russian Science Foundation project N16-18-10265-RNF. Y.M.K was supported by a Herchel Smith Research Fellowship, S.J.C was supported by Millennia Research Limited, J.J was supported by the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and A.B. supported by the Amercian Kennel Club and the NIH (R01GM103961). We thank the staff of the Danish National High- Throughput Sequencing Centre for assistance in data generation and the Illinois State Museum Society for funding.