Background: The aurochs (Bos primigenius) was a large bovine that ranged over almost the entirety of the Eurasian continent and North Africa. It is the wild ancestor of the modern cattle (Bos taurus), and went extinct in 1627 probably as a consequence of human hunting and the progressive reduction of its habitat. To investigate in detail the genetic history of this species and to compare the population dynamics in different European areas, we analysed Bos primigenius remains from various sites across Italy. Results: Fourteen samples provided ancient DNA fragments from the mitochondrial hypervariable region. Our data, jointly analysed with previously published sequences, support the view that Italian aurochsen were genetically similar to modern bovine breeds, but very different from northern/central European aurochsen. Bayesian analyses and coalescent simulations indicate that the genetic variation pattern in both Italian and northern/central European aurochsen is compatible with demographic stability after the last glaciation. We provide evidence that signatures of population expansion can erroneously arise in stable aurochsen populations when the different ages of the samples are not taken into account. Conclusions: Distinct groups of aurochsen probably inhabited Italy and northern/central Europe after the last glaciation, respectively. On the contrary, Italian and Fertile Crescent aurochsen likely shared several mtDNA sequences, now common in modern breeds. We argue that a certain level of genetic homogeneity characterized aurochs populations in Southern Europe and the Middle East, and also that post-glacial recolonization of northern and central Europe advanced, without major demographic expansions, from eastern, and not southern, refugia.

Mona, S., Catalano, G., Lari, M., Larson, G., Boscato, P., Casoli, A., et al. (2010). Population dynamic of the extinct European aurochs: genetic evidence of a north-south pattern and no evidence of post-glacial expansion. BMC EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, 10(1) [10.1186/1471-2148-10-83].

Population dynamic of the extinct European aurochs: genetic evidence of a north-south pattern and no evidence of post-glacial expansion

BOSCATO, P.;
2010

Abstract

Background: The aurochs (Bos primigenius) was a large bovine that ranged over almost the entirety of the Eurasian continent and North Africa. It is the wild ancestor of the modern cattle (Bos taurus), and went extinct in 1627 probably as a consequence of human hunting and the progressive reduction of its habitat. To investigate in detail the genetic history of this species and to compare the population dynamics in different European areas, we analysed Bos primigenius remains from various sites across Italy. Results: Fourteen samples provided ancient DNA fragments from the mitochondrial hypervariable region. Our data, jointly analysed with previously published sequences, support the view that Italian aurochsen were genetically similar to modern bovine breeds, but very different from northern/central European aurochsen. Bayesian analyses and coalescent simulations indicate that the genetic variation pattern in both Italian and northern/central European aurochsen is compatible with demographic stability after the last glaciation. We provide evidence that signatures of population expansion can erroneously arise in stable aurochsen populations when the different ages of the samples are not taken into account. Conclusions: Distinct groups of aurochsen probably inhabited Italy and northern/central Europe after the last glaciation, respectively. On the contrary, Italian and Fertile Crescent aurochsen likely shared several mtDNA sequences, now common in modern breeds. We argue that a certain level of genetic homogeneity characterized aurochs populations in Southern Europe and the Middle East, and also that post-glacial recolonization of northern and central Europe advanced, without major demographic expansions, from eastern, and not southern, refugia.
Mona, S., Catalano, G., Lari, M., Larson, G., Boscato, P., Casoli, A., et al. (2010). Population dynamic of the extinct European aurochs: genetic evidence of a north-south pattern and no evidence of post-glacial expansion. BMC EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, 10(1) [10.1186/1471-2148-10-83].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11365/23798
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