Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Domestication of cattle: two or three events?

Pitt, Daniel ORCID:, Sevane Fernandez, Natalia ORCID:, Nicolazzi, Ezequiel L., MacHugh, David E., Park, Stepehn D. E., Colli, Licia, Martinez, Rodrigo, Bruford, Michael W. ORCID: and Orozco Ter Wengel, Pablo ORCID: 2019. Domestication of cattle: two or three events? Evolutionary Applications 12 (1) , pp. 123-136. 10.1111/eva.12674

[thumbnail of Pitt_et_al-2018-Evolutionary_Applications.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Cattle have been invaluable for the transition of human society from nomadic hunter-gatherers to sedentary farming communities throughout much of Europe, Asia and Africa since the earliest domestication of cattle more than 10,000 years ago. Although current understanding of relationships among ancestral populations remains limited, domestication of cattle is thought to have occurred on two or three occasions, giving rise to the taurine (Bos taurus) and indicine (Bos indicus) species that share the aurochs (Bos primigenius) as common ancestor ~250,000 years ago. Indicine and taurine cattle were domesticated in the Indus Valley and Fertile Crescent, respectively; however, an additional domestication event for taurine in the Western Desert of Egypt has also been proposed. We analysed medium density Illumina Bovine SNP array (~54,000 loci) data across 3,196 individuals, representing 180 taurine and indicine populations to investigate population structure within and between populations, and domestication and demographic dynamics using approximate Bayesian computation (ABC). Comparative analyses between scenarios modelling two and three domestication events consistently favour a model with only two episodes and suggest that the additional genetic variation component usually detected in African taurine cattle may be explained by hybridization with local aurochs in Africa after the domestication of taurine cattle in the Fertile Crescent. African indicine cattle exhibit high levels of shared genetic variation with Asian indicine cattle due to their recent divergence and with African taurine cattle through relatively recent gene flow. Scenarios with unidirectional or bidirectional migratory events between European taurine and Asian indicine cattle are also plausible, although further studies are needed to disentangle the complex human-mediated dispersion patterns of domestic cattle. This study therefore helps to clarify the effect of past demographic history on the genetic variation of modern cattle, providing a basis for further analyses exploring alternative migratory routes for early domestic populations.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1752-4563
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 June 2018
Date of Acceptance: 10 June 2018
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2024 02:41

Citation Data

Cited 38 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics