The evolutionary history of dogs in the Americas

M Ní Leathlobhair, A R Perri, E K Irving-Pease, K E Witt, Anna Linderholm, J Haile, Ophélie Lebrasseur, Carly Ameen , J Blick, A R Boyko, Selina Brace, Y N Cortes, S J Crockford , A Devault, E A Dimopoulos, M Eldridge, J Enk , S Gopalakrishnan, K Gori, V GrimesEric Guiry, A J Hansen, Ardern Hulme-Beaman, J Johnson, A Kitchen, A K Kasparov, Y M Kwon, P A Nikolskiy, C P Lope, Aurelie Ophelie Manin, T Martin, M Meyer, K N Myers, M Omura, J M Rouillard, E Y Pavlova, P Sciulli, M S Sinding, A Strakova, V V Ivanova, C Widga, E Willerslev, V V Pitulko, I Barnes, MTP Gilbert, K M Dobney, Ripan S Malhi, E P Murchison, Greger Larson, Laurent Frantz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dogs were present in the Americas before the arrival of European colonists, but the origin and fate of these precontact dogs are largely unknown. We sequenced 71 mitochondrial and 7 nuclear genomes from ancient North American and Siberian dogs from time frames spanning ~9000 years. Our analysis indicates that American dogs were not derived 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. The closest detectable extant lineage to precontact American dogs is the canine transmissible venereal tumor, a contagious cancer clone derived from an individual dog that lived up to 8000 years ago.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-85
Number of pages5
Issue number6397
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2018

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