The most common assumption about the history of cattle is that all modem breeds are the result of domestication events which took place in the middle East approximately 10,000 years BP. However, data from molecular genetic studies of thirteen African, European and Asian breeds do not support this view. The divergence between mitochondrial sequences of Asian and European/African origin imply a much more ancient separation between Bos indicus and Bos towns with estimated lineage divergence times of 200,000-1,000,000 years BP. This suggests at least two independent domestication centres and is supported by microsatellite frequency data and also Y chromosome polymorphism. In addition the different tiers of genetic analysis, when considered together, illustrate the hybrid origins of African zebu breeds and the male-driven nature of the crossbreeding process.

P. Cunningham, R. T Loftus, D. E MacHugh, D. G Bradley

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 21. Gene mapping; polymorphisms; disease genetic markers; marker assisted selection; gene expression; transgenes; non-convention, , 86–89, 1994
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