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Kunming, China

Cao X.,CAS Kunming Institute of Zoology | Cao X.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Irwin D.M.,CAS Kunming Institute of Zoology | Irwin D.M.,University of Toronto | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

The Belgian Malinois (BM) is an excellent working dog that typically shows a circling behavior when placed in a confined space. Moreover, individuals showing moderate running in circles (one kind of obsessive compulsive behavior) in confined spaces typically show better work performance compared to those without the circling behavior or to those with a serious circling behavior (which can be defined as an obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)). To determine whether the candidate gene CDH2, Cadherin 2, which is associated with OCD in the Doberman pinscher breed of dogs and in humans, was linked with this behavioral character in the BM, population genetic analyses were performed on a BM population and a natural population of the Chinese indigenous dog (CID). Many genetic signals of balancing selection were detected for one specific region of the CDH2 gene, which suggests that a genomic block, which is included in the CDH2 gene, experienced balancing selection in the BM, and that the CDH2 gene might be associated with the behavioral characteristics of the BM dog (a balance between circling behavior and work performance). Moreover one specific variant, G63913941A, which creates a predicted transcription factor-binding site, may be the key mutation in the CDH2 gene affecting the behavior of BMs by allowing the binding of a transcription factor and increasing CDH2 expression. © 2014 Cao et al. Source


Wang G.-D.,CAS Kunming Institute of Zoology | Cheng L.-G.,Kunming Police Dog Base | Fan R.-X.,Yunnan University | Irwin D.M.,CAS Kunming Institute of Zoology | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Coat color in dog breeds is an excellent character for revealing the power of artificial selection, as it is extremely diverse and likely the result of recent domestication. Coat color is generated by melanocytes, which synthesize pheomelanin (a red or yellow pigment) or eumelanin (a black or brown pigment) through the pigment type-switching pathway, and is regulated by three genes in dogs: MC1R (melanocortin receptor 1), CBD103 (β-defensin 103), and ASIP (agouti-signaling protein precursor). The genotypes of these three gene loci in dog breeds are associated with coat color pattern. Here, we resequenced these three gene loci in two Kunming dog populations and analyzed these sequences using population genetic approaches to identify evolutionary patterns that have occurred at these loci during the recent domestication and breeding of the Kunming dog. The analysis showed that MC1R undergoes balancing selection in both Kunming dog populations, and that the Fst value for MC1R indicates significant genetic differentiation across the two populations. In contrast, similar results were not observed for CBD103 or ASIP. These results suggest that high heterozygosity and allelic differences at the MC1R locus may explain both the mixed color coat, of yellow and black, and the difference in coat colors in both Kunming dog populations. © 2013 Wang et al. Source


Wang G.-D.,CAS Kunming Institute of Zoology | Zhai W.,CAS Beijing Institute of Genomics | Yang H.-C.,CAS Kunming Institute of Zoology | Yang H.-C.,Hefei University of Technology | And 21 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2013

The genetic bases of demographic changes and artificial selection underlying domestication are of great interest in evolutionary biology. Here we perform whole-genome sequencing of multiple grey wolves, Chinese indigenous dogs and dogs of diverse breeds. Demographic analysis show that the split between wolves and Chinese indigenous dogs occurred 32,000 years ago and that the subsequent bottlenecks were mild. Therefore, dogs may have been under human selection over a much longer time than previously concluded, based on molecular data, perhaps by initially scavenging with humans. Population genetic analysis identifies a list of genes under positive selection during domestication, which overlaps extensively with the corresponding list of positively selected genes in humans. Parallel evolution is most apparent in genes for digestion and metabolism, neurological process and cancer. Our study, for the first time, draws together humans and dogs in their recent genomic evolution. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Source

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