An isolated population reveals greater genetic structuring of the Australian dingo

Article


Stephens, Danielle, Fleming, Peter J. S., Sawyers, Emma and Mayr, Tim P.. 2022. "An isolated population reveals greater genetic structuring of the Australian dingo." Scientific Reports. 12 (1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-23648-1
Article Title

An isolated population reveals greater genetic structuring of the Australian dingo

ERA Journal ID201487
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsStephens, Danielle, Fleming, Peter J. S., Sawyers, Emma and Mayr, Tim P.
Journal TitleScientific Reports
Journal Citation12 (1)
Article Number19105
Number of Pages12
Year2022
PublisherNature Publishing Group
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN2045-2322
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-23648-1
Web Address (URL)https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-23648-1
Abstract

The Australian dingo is a recent anthropogenic addition to the Australian fauna, which spread rapidly across the continent and has since widely interbred with modern dogs. Genetic studies of dingoes have given rise to speculation about their entry to the continent and subsequent biogeographic effects, but few studies of their contemporary population structure have been conducted. Here we investigated the dingo ancestry and population structure of free-living dogs in western Victoria and contrasted it with a wider southern Australian sample. We wished to determine whether their geographic isolation was mirrored in genetic isolation. To address this question, we analysed 34 microsatellite markers using Bayesian clustering and discriminant analysis of principal components, and summarised genetic diversity at the population and individual level. The broader southern Australia sample (n = 1138) comprised mostly hybrid animals, with 30% considered pure dingoes. All western Victorian individuals (n = 59) appeared to be hybrids with high dingo ancestry. The population showed no evidence of admixture with other populations and low genetic diversity on all measures tested. Based upon our characterisation of this unusual mainland population, we advise against assuming homogeneity of dingoes across the continent.

Keywordsisolated population; Australian dingo
Byline AffiliationsZoological Genetics, Australia
NSW Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales
University of New England
Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems
Department of Land Environment Water and Planning, Victoria
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