Identification of recent hybridization between gray wolves and domesticated dogs by SNP genotyping
The ability to detect recent hybridization between dogs and wolves is important for conservation and legal actions, which often require accurate and rapid resolution of ancestry. The availability of a genetic test for dog–wolf hybrids would greatly support federal and legal enforcement efforts, particularly when the individual in question lacks prior ancestry information. We have developed a panel of 100 unlinked ancestry-informative SNP markers that can detect mixed ancestry within up to four generations of dog–wolf hybridization based on simulations of seven genealogical classes constructed following the rules of Mendelian inheritance. We establish 95 % confidence regions around the spatial clustering of each genealogical class using a tertiary plot of allele dosage and heterozygosity. The first- and second-backcrossed-generation hybrids were the most distinct from parental populations, with >90 % correctly assigned to genealogical class. In this article we provide a tool kit with population-level statistical quantification that can detect recent dog–wolf hybridization using a panel of dog–wolf ancestry-informative SNPs with divergent allele frequency distributions.