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PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56552. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056552. Epub 2013 Feb 20.

Phylogeography and domestication of Chinese swamp buffalo.

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  • 1Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology for Agriculture, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A & F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China.

Abstract

To further probe into whether swamp buffaloes were domesticated once or multiple times in China, this survey examined the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Control Region (D-loop) diversity of 471 individuals representing 22 populations of 455 Chinese swamp buffaloes and 16 river buffaloes. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Chinese swamp buffaloes could be divided into two distinct lineages, A and B, which were defined previously. Of the two lineages, lineage A was predominant across all populations. For predominant lineage A, Southwestern buffalo populations possess the highest genetic diversity among the three hypothesized domestication centers (Southeastern, Central, and Southwestern China), suggesting Southwestern China as the most likely location for the domestication of lineage A. However, a complex pattern of diversity is detected for the lineage B, preventing the unambiguous pinpointing of the exact place of domestication center and suggesting the presence of a long-term, strong gene flow among swamp buffalo populations caused by extensive migrations of buffaloes and frequent human movements along the Yangtze River throughout history. Our current study suggests that Southwestern China is the most likely domestication center for lineage A, and may have been a primary center of swamp buffalo domestication. More archaeological and genetic evidence is needed to show the process of domestication.

PMID:
23437167
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3577850
Free PMC Article

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