ABSTRACT: 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.
Project description:The domestication of the aurochs took place approximately 10,000 years ago giving rise to the two main types of domestic cattle known today, taurine (Bos taurus) domesticated somewhere on or near the Fertile Crescent, and indicine (Bos indicus) domesticated in the Indus Valley. However, although cattle have historically played a prominent role in human society the exact origin of many extant breeds is not well known. Here we used a combination of medium and high-density Illumina Bovine SNP arrays (i.e., ~54,000 and ~770,000 SNPs, respectively), genotyped for over 1300 animals representing 56 cattle breeds, to describe the relationships among major European cattle breeds and detect patterns of admixture among them. Our results suggest modern cross-breeding and ancient hybridisation events have both played an important role, including with animals of indicine origin. We use these data to identify signatures of selection reflecting both domestication (hypothesized to produce a common signature across breeds) and local adaptation (predicted to exhibit a signature of selection unique to a single breed or group of related breeds with a common history) to uncover additional demographic complexity of modern European cattle.
Project description:Previous archeological and genetic research has shown that modern cattle breeds are descended from multiple independent domestication events of the wild aurochs (Bos primigenius) ?10,000 y ago. Two primary areas of domestication in the Middle East/Europe and the Indian subcontinent resulted in taurine and indicine lines of cattle, respectively. American descendants of cattle brought by European explorers to the New World beginning in 1493 generally have been considered to belong to the taurine lineage. Our analyses of 47,506 single nucleotide polymorphisms show that these New World cattle breeds, as well as many related breeds of cattle in southern Europe, actually exhibit ancestry from both the taurine and indicine lineages. In this study, we show that, although European cattle are largely descended from the taurine lineage, gene flow from African cattle (partially of indicine origin) contributed substantial genomic components to both southern European cattle breeds and their New World descendants. New World cattle breeds, such as Texas Longhorns, provide an opportunity to study global population structure and domestication in cattle. Following their introduction into the Americas in the late 1400s, semiferal herds of cattle underwent between 80 and 200 generations of predominantly natural selection, as opposed to the human-mediated artificial selection of Old World breeding programs. Our analyses of global cattle breed population history show that the hybrid ancestry of New World breeds contributed genetic variation that likely facilitated the adaptation of these breeds to a novel environment.
Project description:The domestication and development of cattle has considerably impacted human societies, but the histories of cattle breeds and populations have been poorly understood especially for African, Asian, and American breeds. Using genotypes from 43,043 autosomal single nucleotide polymorphism markers scored in 1,543 animals, we evaluate the population structure of 134 domesticated bovid breeds. Regardless of the analytical method or sample subset, the three major groups of Asian indicine, Eurasian taurine, and African taurine were consistently observed. Patterns of geographic dispersal resulting from co-migration with humans and exportation are recognizable in phylogenetic networks. All analytical methods reveal patterns of hybridization which occurred after divergence. Using 19 breeds, we map the cline of indicine introgression into Africa. We infer that African taurine possess a large portion of wild African auroch ancestry, causing their divergence from Eurasian taurine. We detect exportation patterns in Asia and identify a cline of Eurasian taurine/indicine hybridization in Asia. We also identify the influence of species other than Bos taurus taurus and B. t. indicus in the formation of Asian breeds. We detect the pronounced influence of Shorthorn cattle in the formation of European breeds. Iberian and Italian cattle possess introgression from African taurine. American Criollo cattle originate from Iberia, and not directly from Africa with African ancestry inherited via Iberian ancestors. Indicine introgression into American cattle occurred in the Americas, and not Europe. We argue that cattle migration, movement and trading followed by admixture have been important forces in shaping modern bovine genomic variation.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Descendants from the extinct aurochs (Bos primigenius), taurine (Bos taurus) and zebu cattle (Bos indicus) were domesticated 10,000 years ago in Southwestern and Southern Asia, respectively, and colonized the world undergoing complex events of admixture and selection. Molecular data, in particular genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers, can complement historic and archaeological records to elucidate these past events. However, SNP ascertainment in cattle has been optimized for taurine breeds, imposing limitations to the study of diversity in zebu cattle. As amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers are discovered and genotyped as the samples are assayed, this type of marker is free of ascertainment bias. In order to obtain unbiased assessments of genetic differentiation and structure in taurine and zebu cattle, we analyzed a dataset of 135 AFLP markers in 1,593 samples from 13 zebu and 58 taurine breeds, representing nine continental areas.<h4>Results</h4>We found a geographical pattern of expected heterozygosity in European taurine breeds decreasing with the distance from the domestication centre, arguing against a large-scale introgression from European or African aurochs. Zebu cattle were found to be at least as diverse as taurine cattle. Western African zebu cattle were found to have diverged more from Indian zebu than South American zebu. Model-based clustering and ancestry informative markers analyses suggested that this is due to taurine introgression. Although a large part of South American zebu cattle also descend from taurine cows, we did not detect significant levels of taurine ancestry in these breeds, probably because of systematic backcrossing with zebu bulls. Furthermore, limited zebu introgression was found in Podolian taurine breeds in Italy.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The assessment of cattle diversity reported here contributes an unbiased global view to genetic differentiation and structure of taurine and zebu cattle populations, which is essential for an effective conservation of the bovine genetic resources.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Distinct domestication events, adaptation to different climatic zones, and divergent selection in productive traits have shaped the genomic differences between taurine and indicine cattle. In this study, we assessed the impact of artificial selection and environmental adaptation by comparing whole-genome sequences from European taurine and Asian indicine breeds and from African cattle. Next, we studied the impact of divergent selection by exploiting predicted and experimental functional annotation of the bovine genome. RESULTS:We identified selective sweeps in beef cattle taurine and indicine populations, including a 430-kb selective sweep on indicine cattle chromosome 5 that is located between 47,670,001 and 48,100,000 bp and spans five genes, i.e. HELB, IRAK3, ENSBTAG00000026993, GRIP1 and part of HMGA2. Regions under selection in indicine cattle display significant enrichment for promoters and coding genes. At the nucleotide level, sites that show a strong divergence in allele frequency between European taurine and Asian indicine are enriched for the same functional categories. We identified nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in coding regions that are fixed for different alleles between subspecies, eight of which were located within the DNA helicase B (HELB) gene. By mining information from the 1000 Bull Genomes Project, we found that HELB carries mutations that are specific to indicine cattle but also found in taurine cattle, which are known to have been subject to indicine introgression from breeds, such as N'Dama, Anatolian Red, Marchigiana, Chianina, and Piedmontese. Based on in-house genome sequences, we proved that mutations in HELB segregate independently of the copy number variation HMGA2-CNV, which is located in the same region. CONCLUSIONS:Major genomic sequence differences between Bos taurus and Bos indicus are enriched for promoter and coding regions. We identified a 430-kb selective sweep in Asian indicine cattle located on chromosome 5, which carries SNPs that are fixed in indicine populations and located in the coding sequences of the HELB gene. HELB is involved in the response to DNA damage including exposure to ultra-violet light and is associated with reproductive traits and yearling weight in tropical cattle. Thus, HELB likely contributed to the adaptation of tropical cattle to their harsh environment.
Project description:BACKGROUND: When domestic taurine cattle diffused from the Fertile Crescent, local wild aurochsen (Bos primigenius) were still numerous. Moreover, aurochsen and introduced cattle often coexisted for millennia, thus providing potential conditions not only for spontaneous interbreeding, but also for pastoralists to create secondary domestication centers involving local aurochs populations. Recent mitochondrial genomes analyses revealed that not all modern taurine mtDNAs belong to the shallow macro-haplogroup T of Near Eastern origin, as demonstrated by the detection of three branches (P, Q and R) radiating prior to the T node in the bovine phylogeny. These uncommon haplogroups represent excellent tools to evaluate if sporadic interbreeding or even additional events of cattle domestication occurred. METHODOLOGY: The survey of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control-region variation of 1,747 bovine samples (1,128 new and 619 from previous studies) belonging to 37 European breeds allowed the identification of 16 novel non-T mtDNAs, which after complete genome sequencing were confirmed as members of haplogroups Q and R. These mtDNAs were then integrated in a phylogenetic tree encompassing all available P, Q and R complete mtDNA sequences. CONCLUSIONS: Phylogenetic analyses of 28 mitochondrial genomes belonging to haplogroups P (N?=?2), Q (N?=?16) and R (N?=?10) together with an extensive survey of all previously published mtDNA datasets revealed major similarities between haplogroups Q and T. Therefore, Q most likely represents an additional minor lineage domesticated in the Near East together with the founders of the T subhaplogroups. Whereas, haplogroup R is found, at least for the moment, only in Italy and nowhere else, either in modern or ancient samples, thus supporting an origin from European aurochsen. Haplogroup R could have been acquired through sporadic interbreeding of wild and domestic animals, but our data do not rule out the possibility of a local and secondary event of B. primigenius domestication in Italy.
Project description:The origin and taxonomic status of domesticated cattle are controversial. Zebu and taurine breeds are differentiated primarily by the presence or absence of a hump and have been recognized as separate species (Bos indicus and Bos taurus). However, the most widely held view is that both types of cattle derive from a single domestication event 8000-10,000 years ago. We have examined mtDNA sequences from representatives of six European (taurine) breeds, three Indian (zebu) breeds, and four African (three zebu, one taurine) breeds. Similar levels of average sequence divergence were observed among animals within each of the major continental groups: 0.41% (European), 0.38% (African), and 0.42% (Indian). However, the sequences fell into two very distinct geographic lineages that do not correspond with the taurine-zebu dichotomy: all European and African breeds are in one lineage, and all Indian breeds are in the other. There was little indication of breed clustering within either lineage. Application of a molecular clock suggests that the two major mtDNA clades diverged at least 200,000, and possibly as much as 1 million, years ago. This relatively large divergence is interpreted most simply as evidence for two separate domestication events, presumably of different subspecies of the aurochs, Bos primigenius. The clustering of all African zebu mtDNA sequences within the taurine lineage is attributed to ancestral crossbreeding with the earlier B. taurus inhabitants of the continent.
Project description:Y-chromosome genetic diversity in and around its domestication origin and a better understanding of indicine-specific microsatellite alleles are imperative concerns but less -targeted. We analysed Y-chromosome markers in 301 bulls representing 19 native Indian cattle (Bos indicus) and identified new alleles and haplotypes. Compared to other indicine studies, the high Y-haplotype diversity found in Indian cattle supports the hypothesis of greater genetic variability across the centre of origin decreasing along migratory routes with increasing distance. Hence, a considerable paternal genetic diversity of Indian cattle appears to have been lost in transboundary commercial indicine breeds. The Khillar and Gir are the most diversified populations where the first tends to be the well-differentiated traditional breed carrying strikingly distinct Y-lineages with typical BM861-158 bp allele, characteristics of taurine cattle, while retaining standard indicine lineages for all other markers. Geographical distribution found to be an unreliable predictor of parental variation, and Y-lineages seemed closely related to Indian breed function/utility. The comprehensive Y-chromosome information will be useful to examine the demographic expansion/spread of Bos indicus lineages from close proximity to the domestication centre across different countries worldwide and such diversity should be preserved through effective management and conservation programs.
Project description:The divergence between indicine cattle (Bos indicus) and taurine cattle (Bos taurus) is estimated to have occurred approximately 250,000 years ago, but a small number of European cattle breeds still display shared ancestry with indicine cattle. Additionally, following the divergence of African and European taurine, the gene flow between African taurine and southern European cattle has also been proposed. However, the extent to which non-European cattle ancestry is diffused across southern European cattle has not been investigated thoroughly. Also, in recent times, many local breeds have suffered severe reductions in effective population size. Therefore, in the present study, we investigated the pattern of genetic diversity in various European cattle based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) identified from whole-genome sequencing data. Additionally, we also employed unlinked and phased SNP-based approaches on high-density SNP array data to characterize non-European cattle ancestry in several southern European cattle breeds. Using heterozygosity-based parameters, we concluded that, on average, nucleotide diversity is greater in southern European cattle than western European (British and commercial) cattle. However, an abundance of long runs of homozygosity (ROH) and the pattern of Linkage disequilibrium decay suggested recent bottlenecks in Maltese and Romagnola. High nucleotide diversity outside ROH indicated a highly diverse founder population for southern European and African taurine. We also show that Iberian cattle display shared ancestry with African cattle. Furthermore, we show that Podolica is an ancient cross-bred between Indicine zebu and European taurine. Additionally, we also inferred similar ancestry profile of non-European cattle ancestry in different Balkan and Italian cattle breeds which might be an indication of the common origin of indicine ancestry in these breeds. Finally, we discuss several plausible demographic scenarios which might account for the presence of non-European cattle ancestry in these cattle breeds.
Project description:The domestication of taurine cattle initiated ~10?000 years ago in the Near East from a wild aurochs (Bos primigenius) population followed by their dispersal through migration of agriculturalists to Europe. Although gene flow from wild aurochs still present at the time of this early dispersion is still debated, some of the extant primitive cattle populations are believed to possess the aurochs-like primitive features. In this study, we use genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms to assess relationship, admixture patterns and demographic history of an ancient aurochs sample and European cattle populations, several of which have primitive features and are suitable for extensive management. The principal component analysis, the model-based clustering and a distance-based network analysis support previous works suggesting different histories for north-western and southern European cattle. Population admixture analysis indicates a zebu gene flow in the Balkan and Italian Podolic cattle populations. Our analysis supports the previous report of gene flow between British and Irish primitive cattle populations and local aurochs. In addition, we show evidence of aurochs gene flow in the Iberian cattle populations indicating wide geographical distribution of the aurochs. Runs of homozygosity (ROH) reveal that demographic processes like genetic isolation and breed formation have contributed to genomic variations of European cattle populations. The ROH also indicate recent inbreeding in southern European cattle populations. We conclude that in addition to factors such as ancient human migrations, isolation by distance and cross-breeding, gene flow between domestic and wild-cattle populations also has shaped genomic composition of European cattle populations.