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Cattle's Call Of The Wild: Domestication May Hold Complex Genetic Tale
Science News ^ | 5-16-2006 | Bruce Bower

Posted on 05/16/2006 1:02:49 PM PDT by blam

Cattle's Call of the Wild: Domestication may hold complex genetic tale

Bruce Bower

A new investigation of DNA that was obtained from modern cattle and from fossils of their ancient, wild ancestors puts scientists on the horns of a domestication dilemma.

The new data challenge the mainstream idea, based on earlier genetic and archaeological evidence, that herding and farming groups in southeastern Turkey or adjacent Near Eastern regions domesticated cattle perhaps 11,000 years ago. According to that view, these groups then introduced the animals throughout Europe, so current European cattle breeds would trace their ancestry directly back to early Near Eastern cattle.

Instead, cattle domesticated in the Near East interbred with their wild, now-extinct cousins, known as aurochs, already living in some parts of Europe, concludes a team led by geneticist Giorgio Bertorelle of the University of Ferrara in Italy. The domesticated cattle may also have mated with African cattle that had been shipped to southern Mediterranean locales.

"European cattle breeds represent a more diverse and important genetic resource than previously recognized, especially in southern regions," Bertorelle says. He and his colleagues present their provocative findings in an upcoming Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers examined chemical sequences of mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited from the mother. Ancient sequences were isolated from five Italian aurochs fossils previously dated at between 7,000 and 17,000 years old. Comparable genetic information was gleaned from more than 1,000 cattle in 51 modern breeds from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.

Italian aurochs display mitochondrial-DNA sequences that often occur in cattle today, Bertorelle's group asserts. The strongest genetic resemblance appears between these aurochs and Italian cattle, followed by less and less similarity in cattle in central and northwestern Europe, the Near East, North America, and Africa.

Greater amounts of genetic variability in cattle from southern versus northern Europe suggest that Mediterranean herders let their cattle roam and mate with wild aurochs, whereas northern herders often kept cattle in guarded areas, Bertorelle adds.

Further analyses showed that certain mitochondrial-DNA sequences found in North African cattle today also commonly appear in breeds from Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Greece, but not areas farther north. Occasional boat transport of cattle from North Africa to southern Europe would explain this finding, in Bertorelle's view.

Molecular anthropologist Joachim Burger of Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, expresses surprise at the new report. Northern European cattle breeds today derive directly from ancient Near Eastern cattle, according to his group's recent analysis of mitochondrial DNA from more than 60 modern cattle and 43 aurochs fossils in northern Europe.

"We need to examine genetic data more closely to resolve this issue," Burger says. Studies of DNA in cells' nuclei will prove critical, although it's difficult to extract this genetic material from fossils he notes.

In the meantime, a more thorough investigation will require comparison of mitochondrial DNA obtained from radiocarbon-dated aurochs fossils throughout Europe with that of cattle today, remarks archaeologist Albert J. Ammerman of Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y.

It's not clear whether domesticated cattle first moved from northern Africa to southern Europe, as assumed by Bertorelle, or vice versa, Ammerman notes.

If you have a comment on this article that you would like considered for publication in Science News, send it to editors@sciencenews.org. Please include your name and location.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: animalhusbandry; call; cattle; cattles; complex; domestication; genetic; genetics; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; hold; tale; wild

1 posted on 05/16/2006 1:02:52 PM PDT by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


2 posted on 05/16/2006 1:03:20 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

"The new data challenge the mainstream idea"

I just love new data!


3 posted on 05/16/2006 1:03:51 PM PDT by mlc9852
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To: blam

"Ancient sequences were isolated from five Italian aurochs fossils previously dated at between 7,000 and 17,000 years old."

How long until DNA degrades to the point of being useless?


4 posted on 05/16/2006 1:05:04 PM PDT by mlc9852
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To: blam

The Chao says Mu.


5 posted on 05/16/2006 1:06:27 PM PDT by Salamander (Cursed With Second Sight)
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To: mlc9852

when their funding runs out


6 posted on 05/16/2006 1:06:28 PM PDT by kinoxi
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To: kinoxi

LOL - I think you're right.


7 posted on 05/16/2006 1:07:20 PM PDT by mlc9852
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To: Pharmboy; CobaltBlue

Quasi-GG Ping


8 posted on 05/16/2006 1:07:54 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: mlc9852

"How long until DNA degrades to the point of being useless?"

It seems to set in when they are re-elected to office.


9 posted on 05/16/2006 1:07:56 PM PDT by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com)
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To: blam

Cattle Call Lyrics

The cattle are prowlin' and the coyotes are howlin' way out where the doggies bawl
Where spurs are jinglin' my cowboy is singin' his lonesome cattle call mhm
[ strings ]
He rides in the sun till his day's work is done and he rounds up the cattle each fall
[ strings ]
Mhm singin' his cattle call
For hours he will ride on the range far and wide
When the night wind blows up a squall
His heart is a feather in all kinds of weather he sings his cattle call mhm
[ strings ]
He's brown as a berry from ridin' the prairie as he rounds up the cattle each fall
[ strings ]
Mhm singin' his cattle call mhm


10 posted on 05/16/2006 1:08:00 PM PDT by HuntsvilleTxVeteran ("Remember the Alamo, Goliad and WACO, It is Time for a new San Jacinto")
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To: blam
The domesticated cattle may also have mated with African cattle that had been shipped to southern Mediterranean locales.

That doesn't compute. Africa is a southern Mediterranean locale. Maybe it should be northern Mediterranean locales?

11 posted on 05/16/2006 1:14:04 PM PDT by Graymatter
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To: mlc9852
"How long until DNA degrades to the point of being useless?"

I don't know, depends on the conditions, etc.

A 224 million year old bacteria live bacteria was found trapped in a salt crystal. So...

12 posted on 05/16/2006 1:14:42 PM PDT by blam
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To: mlc9852

Maybe up to 60,000,000 years. Right now "they" are looking for DNA sequences in soft tissues remarkably preserved from dinosaurs.


13 posted on 05/16/2006 1:22:28 PM PDT by muawiyah (-)
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To: Graymatter

http://www.wonderquest.com/cow.htm

If you watch Braveheart closely, during the scene when Wallace and his men cross the river and Wallace hides inside of a dead Scottish cow, you'll see what I think are modern day analogues of the Aurochs.

Scottish Highland cattle closely resemble them and Herefords [when unpolled] are capable of growing massive and long *forward pointing* horns that greatly resemble the cattle pictured in cave art.
Their horns grow in roughly the same shape and position as elephants tusks do, for help in visualizing it.

Just my tuppence tossed in....:)


14 posted on 05/16/2006 1:22:53 PM PDT by Salamander (Cursed With Second Sight)
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To: blam

"The researchers examined chemical sequences of mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited from the mother. Ancient sequences were isolated from five Italian aurochs fossils previously dated at between 7,000 and 17,000 years old."

DNA from a FOSSIL? Must just be sloppy reporting.


15 posted on 05/16/2006 1:25:13 PM PDT by Elpasser
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To: Elpasser

A skeleton is a fossil, and yes, you can get DNA from a skeleton.


16 posted on 05/16/2006 1:29:24 PM PDT by CobaltBlue (Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.)
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To: martin_fierro

I might be related through my Aunt Betty Holstein.


17 posted on 05/16/2006 1:35:42 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must)
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To: muawiyah

I can't wait to see what comes of that. Could get very interesting, I would think.


18 posted on 05/16/2006 1:37:03 PM PDT by mlc9852
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To: Salamander

Except of course that an aurochs was sized more like a rhino than a cow. :)


19 posted on 05/16/2006 1:47:27 PM PDT by Restorer
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To: CobaltBlue

Hmmm. I thought a skeleton was a skeleton and a fossil was, well, fossilized, i.e., the original bone matter replaced by silica.

What am I missing?


20 posted on 05/16/2006 1:56:54 PM PDT by Elpasser
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To: Elpasser

Perhaps you're right. If so, the article is wrong, you can't get blood (or DNA) from a stone! ;^)


21 posted on 05/16/2006 2:58:26 PM PDT by CobaltBlue (Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.)
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To: Elpasser

What you are missing is that sometimes a fossil IS the bone.


22 posted on 05/16/2006 3:13:34 PM PDT by muawiyah (-)
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To: Restorer
Everything got downsized...thank God...or we'd have pterodactyl sized pigeons flying around.....:))
23 posted on 05/16/2006 7:01:29 PM PDT by Salamander (Cursed With Second Sight)
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To: blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; ...
Thanks Blam. I hate cattle calls.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

24 posted on 05/16/2006 10:51:43 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: blam

hey, this can't compare to my topic.

Scientists: Bison in Illinois earlier (aren't you relieved?)
South Carolina homepage (thestate.com) | Tue, Aug. 30, 2005 | Associated Press
Posted on 09/03/2005 10:17:31 AM EDT by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1476377/posts

;')


25 posted on 05/16/2006 11:30:32 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


26 posted on 08/12/2012 8:54:38 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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