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Heredity (Edinb). 2011 Apr;106(4):700-6. doi: 10.1038/hdy.2010.122. Epub 2010 Oct 13.

Haplogroup relationships between domestic and wild sheep resolved using a mitogenome panel.

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  • 1CSIRO Livestock Industries, St Lucia, Queensland, Australia.


Five haplogroups have been identified in domestic sheep through global surveys of mitochondrial (mt) sequence variation, however these group classifications are often based on small fragments of the complete mtDNA sequence; partial control region or the cytochrome B gene. This study presents the complete mitogenome from representatives of each haplogroup identified in domestic sheep, plus a sample of their wild relatives. Comparison of the sequence successfully resolved the relationships between each haplogroup and provided insight into the relationship with wild sheep. The five haplogroups were characterised as branching independently, a radiation that shared a common ancestor 920,000 ± 190,000 years ago based on protein coding sequence. The utility of various mtDNA components to inform the true relationship between sheep was also examined with Bayesian, maximum likelihood and partitioned Bremmer support analyses. The control region was found to be the mtDNA component, which contributed the highest amount of support to the tree generated using the complete data set. This study provides the nucleus of a mtDNA mitogenome panel, which can be used to assess additional mitogenomes and serve as a reference set to evaluate small fragments of the mtDNA.

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