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Anim Genet. 1994 Jun;25 Suppl 1:19-27.

Marker-derived phylogeny of European cattle supports demic expansion of agriculture.

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  • 1Institut für Tierwissenchaften, Technische Universität München, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany.


Using frequencies of 86 genes from 23 loci of blood group systems, blood and milk proteins, the genetic relationships among 14 cattle breeds including four native Balkan and four synthetic Balkan-Alp breeds were studied. The dendrogram and nonlinear map construction shows a consensus 'Balkan breed cluster', an 'Alp breed cluster', an unstable position of synthetic breeds and well-separated American breeds. Positive partial correlations between genetic distance and time elapsed since introduction of farming while keeping geographical distances constant, and regular patterns over thousands of kilometers indicate that large-scale cattle population movements together with human migration (in the Neolithic age) from the Near East into Europe across the Balkans are the most likely explanation for the genetic distances observed in our data. More recent breed differentiation and selection do not yet blur this initial pattern of European cattle populations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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