Ice Age DNA shows dogs comes from two ancient wolf populations

Two different ancient wolf populations contributed DNA to modern dogs, according to a new study by an international group of geneticists and archaeologist.

Dogs are known to have descended from the gray wolf, with domestication some 15,000 years ago during the Ice Age, the Francis Crick Institute in London is reporting. What remains unknown, researches said, is where it happened and whether it occurred in one or more places.

Previous studies using the archaeological record and comparing the DNA of dogs and modern wolves have not found the answer, Crick researchers wrote in new findings released Wednesday.

In the new peer-reviewed study, published in Nature, researchers from the institute said they charted the genetic history of the gray wolf over the past100,000 years by analyzing 72 ancient genomes from Europe, Siberia, and North America.

“Through this project we have greatly increased the number of sequenced ancient wolf genomes, allowing us to create a detailed picture of wolf ancestry over time, including around the time of dog origins,” Anders Bergström, a post-doctoral researcher in the Ancient Genomics lab at the Crick said in a press release. “By trying to place the dog piece into this picture, we found that dogs derive ancestry from at least two separate wolf populations – an eastern source that contributed to all dogs and a separate more western source.” , that contributed to some dogs.”

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