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Tuesday 20 October 2015

The domestication of dogs was an important episode in the development of human civilization. The precise timing and location of this event is debated and little is known about the genetic changes that accompanied the transformation of ancient wolves into domestic dogs.

it has been conducted a whole-genome resequencing of dogs and wolves to identify 3.8 million genetic variants used to identify 36 genomic regions that probably represent targets for selection during dog domestication. (24975239)

Nineteen of these regions contain genes important in brain function, eight of which belong to nervous system development pathways and potentially underlie behavioural changes central to dog domestication. (24975239)

Ten genes with key roles in starch digestion and fat metabolism also show signals of selection. It has been identified candidate mutations in key genes and provide functional support for an increased starch digestion in dogs relative to wolves. (24975239)

It indicates that novel adaptations allowing the early ancestors of modern dogs to thrive on a diet rich in starch, relative to the carnivorous diet of wolves, constituted a crucial step in the early domestication of dogs. (24975239)

Open references

- Amylase activity is associated with AMY2B copy numbers in dog: implications for dog domestication, diet and diabetes. Arendt M, Fall T, Lindblad-Toh K, Axelsson E. Anim Genet. 2014 Oct;45(5):716-22. doi : 10.1111/age.12179 PMID: 24975239

- Identification of genomic regions associated with phenotypic variation between dog breeds using selection mapping. Vaysse A, Ratnakumar A, Derrien T, Axelsson E, Rosengren Pielberg G, Sigurdsson S, Fall T, Seppälä EH, Hansen MS, Lawley CT, Karlsson EK; LUPA Consortium, Bannasch D, Vilà C, Lohi H, Galibert F, Fredholm M, Häggström J, Hedhammar A, André C, Lindblad-Toh K, Hitte C, Webster MT. PLoS Genet. 2011 Oct;7(10):e1002316. doi : 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002316 PMID: 22022279 (Free)


- The genomic signature of dog domestication reveals adaptation to a starch-rich diet. Axelsson E, Ratnakumar A, Arendt ML, Maqbool K, Webster MT, Perloski M, Liberg O, Arnemo JM, Hedhammar A, Lindblad-Toh K. Nature. 2013 Mar 21;495(7441):360-4. doi : 10.1038/nature11837 PMID: 23354050