DNA technology is being used to refine our understanding of when the domestic dog became a separate genetic line from wolves.
In latest research, published in the open access journal PLoS ONE, DNA analysis on a 33,000-year old dog is reported. DNA was extracted from a tooth.
The analyses show that the dog, from the Altai region which is east of Kazakhstan and north of China and Mongolia, is more closely related to modern dogs than contemporary wolves. The research team, led by Anna Druzhkova from the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the Russian Federation, report that genetic analyses of ancient canids may help to reveal a more exact date and centre of domestication for the dog.
While it is widely accepted that the dog domestication predates the beginning of agriculture (about 10,000 years ago), no one can be sure when the genetics of wolves and domestic dogs began to diverge.
Source: PLoS ONE