New insights on the history of canids in Oceania based on mitochondrial and nuclear data
- 594 Downloads
How and when dingoes arrived in Oceania poses a fascinating question for scientists with interest in the historical movements of humans and dogs. The dingo holds a unique position as top terrestrial predator of Australia and exists in a wild state. In the first geographical survey of genetic diversity in the dingo using whole mitochondrial genomes, we analysed 16,428 bp in 25 individuals from five separate populations. We also investigated 13 nuclear loci to compare with the mitochondrial population history patterns. Phylogenetic analyses based upon mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA support the hypothesis that there are at least two distinct populations of dingo, one of which occurs in the northwest and the other in the southeast of the continent. Conservative molecular dating based upon mitochondrial DNA suggest that the lineages split approximately 8300 years before present, likely outside Australia but within Oceania. The close relationship between dingoes and New Guinea Singing Dogs suggests that plausibly dingoes spread into Australia via the land bridge between Papua New Guinea and Australia although seafaring introductions cannot be rejected. The geographical distribution of these divergent lineages suggests there were multiple independent dingo immigrations. Importantly, the observation of multiple dingo populations suggests the need for revision of existing conservation and management programs that treat dingoes as a single homogeneous population.
KeywordsAustralia Dingo Divergence estimates Mitochondrial DNA Neolithic Nuclear DNA Phylogeography Population genetics
Late author Dr Alan N. Wilton was sadly unable to review the final manuscript. Thanks to Matthew Wong (UNSW) for preliminary mitochondrial data and primers collected during his honours thesis. Dr Danielle Stephens (UWA) provided a subset of pre-screened dingo samples for this study. Dr Peter Savolainen (KTH Biotechnology) contributed Indonesian dog samples and advice on the manuscript. Dr Simon Ho (USyd) supplied advice concerning phylogenetic analyses and divergence dating. This manuscript was improved by comments from the Ballard and Wilton lab groups (UNSW), Dr Mike Archer (UNSW), Dr Mike Letnic (UNSW), Dr Barbara Zangerl (UNSW), Dr Greger Larson (Oxford) and anonymous reviewers. Recognition must go to conservation organisations, land managers and government agencies for contributing dingo samples to genetic research projects at UNSW and UWA. This work was supported by a Hermon Slade Foundation Research grant (HSF11/6) to J.W.O. Ballard and authors ANW and KMC.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. This research was approved by the Animal Care and Ethics Committee of University of NSW (Permit Number: 12/36B).
- Cairns KM (2015) Population differentiation in the dingo: biogeography and molecular ecology of the Australian Native Dog using maternal, paternal and autosomal genetic markers. University of New South Wales, SydneyGoogle Scholar
- Corbett LK (1995) The dingo in Australia and Asia. University of NSW Press, SydneyGoogle Scholar
- Darriba D, Taboada GL, Doallo R, Posada D (2012) jModelTest 2: more models, new heuristics and parallel computing. Nat Methods 9:772–772. http://www.nature.com/nmeth/journal/v9/n8/abs/nmeth.2109.html—supplementary-information
- Davis E (2001) Legislative issues relating to control of dingoes and other wild dogs in New South Wales. 1. Approaches to future management. In: Dickman CR, Lunney D (eds) A symposium on the Dingo. Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, SydneyGoogle Scholar
- Fleming P, Corbett LK, Harden R, Thomson P (2001) Managing the impacts of dingoes and other wild dogs. Bureau of Rural Sciences, CanberraGoogle Scholar
- Fu YX (1997) Statistical tests of neutrality of mutations against population growth. Hitchhiking Backgr Sel Genet 147:915–925Google Scholar
- Gollan K (1984) The Australian dingo: in the shadow of man. In: Archer M, Clayton G (eds) Vertebrate zoogeography and evolution in Australasia. Hesperian Press, CarlisleGoogle Scholar
- Macintosh NWG (1975) The origin of the dingo: an enigma. In: Fox MW (ed) The Wild Canids—their systematics, behavioural ecology and evolution. Behavioral Science. Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York, pp 87–106Google Scholar
- Rambaut A, Drummond A (2007) Tracer v1.5 edn. http://beast.bio.ed.ac.uk/Tracer
- Ripple WJ et al (2014) Status and ecological effects of the world’s largest carnivores. Science 343. doi: 10.1126/science.1241484
- Sacks BN, Brown SK, Stephens D, Pedersen NC, Wu J-T, Berry O (2013) Y chromosome analysis of dingoes and Southeast Asian village dogs suggests a Neolithic continental expansion from Southeast Asia followed by multiple Austronesian dispersals. Mol Biol Evol 13:1265–1275. doi: 10.1093/molbev/mst027 Google Scholar
- Stephens D (2011) The molecular ecology of Australian wild dogs: hybridisation, gene flow and genetic structure at multiple geographic scales. PhD, University of Western AustraliaGoogle Scholar
- Von Holdt BM et al (2010) Genome-wide SNP and haplotype analyses reveal a rich history underlying dog domestication. Nature 464:898–902. doi:http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/suppinfo/nature08837_S1.html