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Anim Genet. 1999 Aug;30(4):245-50.

Mitochondrial DNA variation in cattle of south China: origin and introgression.

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Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Evolution, Kunming Institution of Zoology Chinese Academy of Science, China.


Ten restriction endonucleases were used to investigate the mitochondrial DNA restriction fragment length polymorphism (mtDNA RFLP) of 11 native cattle breeds and one cultivated cattle breed in South China. Twenty-three restriction morphs were detected, which can be sorted into five haplotypes. A phylogenetic tree of the haplotypes was constructed by using the 'upgMa' method. Our study showed that haplotype I and II are identical to the zebu (Bos indicus) and taurine (Bos taurus) haplotypes, respectively. Zebu and taurine were the two major origins of cattle populations in South China, and the zebu probably had more influence on the native cattle population than taurine did. Haplotype III is identical to haplotype I of yak (Bos grunniens), which was only detected in the Diqing cattle breed. Haplotype IV was detected for the first time. This haplotype, found only in Dehong cattle, might be from an independent domestication event, probably from another Bos indicus population. Divergence of haplotypes I and IV occurred about 268,000-535,000 years ago, much earlier than the 10,000-year history of cattle husbandry. Our results also suggest a secondary introgession of mtDNA from yak to Diqing cattle.

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