Sloughi and Saluki relationship revisited
by Dr. Bernd Fritzsch and Dr. Dominique de Caprona
© de Caprona/Fritzsch 2008

 Since we have first published the article about Sloughi, Saluki and Saluqi genetic relationships some 4 years ago, several people have raised concerns about the  scientific validity of this study, mostly centering on the argument that the small sample size does not allow a conclusion.  Those people are mistaken and show with their statements  that they have not understood the science behind this article.  Here is again, in simple terms, the main point being raised.

The assumption underlying the ‘Saluki hypothesis’ is that Sloughis derived recently from Salukis after the Arabs invaded North-Africa some 1300 years ago.  This can be  restated as Salukis are the great-great-----grandparents of Sloughis. 

Testing this hypothesis is equivalent to a forensic parental test and allows two outcomes:  if genetic fingerprinting indicates similarities we can assume a parental relationship, if there is no high degree of genetic similarities, this argues against a parental relationship.

The data at hand show that the Salukis and Sloughis tested do not display a parental relationship close enough that it would support the idea that Sloughis are nothing else but Salukis, bred for a short while in North-Africa.   Instead, the data show that Salukis and Sloughis are almost exclusively not overlapping in their mtDNA haplotypes. 

The only way the ‘Saluki hypothesis’ can be rescued in the face of these data is to assume that all Salukis that were the ancestors of Sloughis did not leave a genetic trace in the current Saluki population.  Given the genetic distinction indicating separations of several thousand years of Saluki and Sloughi, such an assumption would require complete genetic isolation of the Salukis to be taken to Africa prior to the Arab invasion with the intent to generate a pure Saluki population to be ultimately transplanted to North-Africa.  If true, it would require a long range planning over a great many years, which is implausible given the political instabilities of the Salukis’ countries of origin during those times. 

Logically, the present data fit only one plausible scenario:  Sloughis have been an endemic breed in North-Africa for a much longer time (possibly thousands of years) and may at best have received a minor contribution of Saluki genes which did not leave a lasting impact.  The superficial similarities cited by some as evidence for a close relationship of Sloughis and Salukis are just that, superficial similarities.


| Copyright: Copyright 2008-2012, all rights of all pages under this chapter reserved to Dominique de Caprona.|