1School of Integrative Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 3Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
March 26, 2015 , Gateway Ballroom 3
Dogs and humans likely have a shared migration history due to their close interactions, and studying dog population histories may yield answers to questions about how human populations migrated and interacted as well. Humans traveled with domestic dogs to the Americas, and dog remains in North America date back to at least 9000 years before present (ybp).
Dogs have been present in the American Bottom for thousands of years, although their importance and roles in prehistoric society changed over time. Skeletal remains of dogs show they were used as labor, food, companions and ritual offerings.
At the Janey B. Goode (JBG) site (11S1232), more than fifty dog remains have been recovered from the Terminal Late Woodland component (1000-1400 ybp). 44 of 50 dogs sampled have been successfully sequenced over a short region of mitochondrial DNA, showing relatedness to dog remains in Siberia, the American Southwest and Peru. Twenty of these individuals were chosen for complete mitogenome sequencing, and their sequences were compared with other published sequences. Despite the large sample size, the JBG dogs have low levels of genetic diversity, suggesting that the dog population that first migrated to the American Bottom was small. The JBG mitogenomes also show similarity to mitogenomes from dog burials from 9000 ybp in Southern Illinois, suggesting population continuity from the Archaic through the Late Woodland periods in the American Bottom. Information about the dogs in the American Bottom has the potential to apply to humans as well, to track their migration history.
Mitogenome sequencing was funded by the Centre for GeoGenetics (CGG). K. E. Witt's travel to CGG was funded by a University of Illinois Graduate College Dissertation Travel Grant.