Cow lineages in Europe, Africa and creole America

08 Jun
Another paper on bovine mtDNA adds important information to better understand the major matrilineage of domestic bovine cattle: haplogroup T1.

Importantly, Bonfiglio made a significant effort in sampling Egyptian and Ethiopian cattle, as well as some Latin American breeds. Not a single haplogroup outside of T1 was found, unlike in Europe where P, Q and R lineages do exist, suggesting some level of hybridization with wild aurochsen. There is however some uncertainty as for the exact phylogeny of haplogroups T1e (European) and T1f (Euro-Egyptian), which could also be branches of T1’2’3, as illustrated in fig. 1:

click to expand
The authors conclude that, soon after domestication in West Asia, bovine cattle spread to both Europe and Africa, where experienced secondary expansions, as evidenced by at least one lineage (T1d) looking East African by origin. 
That is also probably the case of T1c (Euro-Egyptian but more diverse in Egypt) and T1b (also most basally diverse in Egypt), which is the origin of the African-derived American “AA” haplotype of Paraguayan cattle, which is within this lineage.

Dated to 15,000 BP or older (source)

Update(Jun 10): There is abundant evidence in form of rock art and some remains at Jebel Uweinat, Qurta and Wadi Qubaniya supporting presence of wild taurine cattle in NE Africa since at least 15,000 BP. This allows for a possible semi-independent domestication event in Africa for bovids (h/t to Marnie).


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