center: Moroccan Aidi, right: Tunisian village dog © de Caprona
photographs copyrighted to their photographers. Please do not use for
purpose without asking.
Portuguese dogs and their relationship to Sloughi, and Aidi dog breeds
and Tunisian village dogs
Summary by Dr.
© de Caprona
structure in peripheral dog breeds: Portuguese native breeds as a case
study" by A. E. Pires* and collaborators is a follow-up of the
study about the Mitochondrial
DNA of Portuguese dogs and their relationship to Sloughi, Aidi and
village dogs. The same breeds of dogs were characterized
microsatellites and 225 Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism
and their genetic differentiation was analyzed.
It is the first
both microsatellites and AFLP markers are used together to compare
of genetic differentiation in Portuguese native dog breeds and other
neighboring breeds. The aim of the study was to analyze correlations
breed affiliation and molecular structure, phylogeographic structure
historical events, breeds and stray dogs of the same area, and to see
breeds represent a distinct geographical distribution of alleles.
The use of AFLP
in genetic studies of dog populations has been limited so far but they
offer a higher statistically discriminatory power particularly in cases
of weak differentiation.
approximately 92% of the variation can be explained by individual
and no geographical structure was detected.
Castro Laboreiro Watchdog, Portuguese Sheepdog, Portuguese
Water dog, Aidi and Sloughi were segregated from all other breeds.
analysis differentiated these breeds from one another, and separated
in two groups, with the Castro Laboreiro Watchdog alone in its group.
For the remaining
the Estrela Mountain dog and Alentejo Shepherd dog clustered together,
independent of other dog populations in the study. Further structure
detected differentiating the Spanish Mastiff, the Portuguese Pointer
the Azores Cattle Dog from one another. The Portuguese Warren Hound,
stray dogs and Tunisian stray dogs remained undifferentiated.
The overall percentage of individuals assigned correctly to their breed
was 12 %. No individuals were classified within the Spanish Mastiff,
Pointer, Portuguese Sheepdog, Aidi, Sloughi and Tunisian village dogs.
Only the Transmontano Mastiff showed the highest percentage of
correctly assigned individuals.
the microsatellites, the AFLP markers showed a strong
percentage of correctly assigned individuals varying from 73.1 % to
93.9 %. All individuals were correctly assigned to their source
for the Spanish Mastiff, Portuguese Sheepdog, Portuguese Pointer,
Waterdog, Aidi and Tunisian village dogs. Percentage of individuals
assigned with AFLP ranged between 46.4 and 70 % for the Azores Cattle
Portuguese Warren Dog, Sloughi and Portuguese stray dogs.
Values of genetic
based on microsatellites and AFLP markers cannot be compared directly.
However the breeds did not rank in the same order using these markers.
Microsatellites reveal recent or ongoing demographic processes. AFLP
with their lower evolutionary rate and polymorphism, may differ in
sensitivity to population bottlenecks and demographic recovery, and
the signal of past genetic structure more effectively.
The AFLP data
higher resolution among the Spanish Mastiff, Aidi and Sloughi.
There was no
genetic differentiation between the Alentejo Shepherd Dog and Estrela
Dog. The Estrela Mountain Dog is considered to be the ancestor of the
Shepherd Dog, and the two populations were in contact during
in the past.
distinctiveness of the
Castro Laboreiro Watchdog found in the first
study is confirmed here with AFLP markers. However, surprisingly,
breed shows no private microsatellites.
a very high percentage of breed affiliation, much higher than the
reinforcing the suitability of the AFLP markers for population
and breed assignment studies.
AFLP markers also
a higher resolution of geographic genetic structure and detected
genetic differentiation among the dogs of the regions of Portugal,
and North Africa.
Peninsula was closely connected to North Africa, mainly through the
long occupation by the Arabs and Berbers. This historical event
the influence of North African mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in Iberian
not detected elsewhere in Europe. During this occupation, animals from
Africa were probably introduced into Iberia also. In fact, admixture
on mtDNA and casein haplotypes was detected in bovines and Iberian
African dogs in Portuguese dog breeds was not detected using mtDNA in
study and the microsatellites and AFLP markers confirm this
I thank A.E.Pires
tuning this text and all the photographers who provided pictures for
Pires A.E., I.
C. Ginja, M. Gomes, I. Godinho, F. Simoes M. Oom, F. Petrucci-Fonseca,
J. Matos and M. W. Bruford (2009): "Molecular
dog breeds: Portuguese native breeds as a case
study." International Society for Animal Genetics, Animal Genetics,
breeds in the study
rarest variety left © Sunhearth Trails, USA.
in Portugal © Carla Cruz, Portugal
(Portuguese Pointer) ©
Lilian Zuurendonk, Netherlands & © DaSilva, Green Falls
grande (left), medio (center) and pequeno (right) smooth varieties. All
photos © Gaby Assmann, Germany.
grande (left), medio (center) and pequeno (right) wirehair varieties.
Photos © Gaby Assmann, Germany.
pequeno and grande wirehair © Carla Cruz, Portugal
Rafeiro de Alentejo
Shepherd Dog) © Jerzy E.Henisz, USA
Português (Portuguese Water Dog) © Yalçin Savas
Cão de Serra
(Estrela Mountain dog) longhaired © Martins-Gomes, D'Estrelboss,
Cão de Serra
(Estrela Mountain dog) shorthaired © Carla Cruz, Portugal
Cão da Serra
(Portuguese Sheep Dog) © Lydia Garreaud, Des Gardiens de La
Cão de Gado
Portugal. Right: © Martins-Gomes, D'Estrelboss, France
Cão de Fila
Miguel (Azores Cattle dog) with cropped ears
Left: © R.
Teixeira, Casa Da Praia, Azores. Right: © Carla Cruz, Portugal
Mastiff) © Baltasar Redondo, Los