Biology Faculty Articles

Title

The Near Eastern Origin of Cat Domestication

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-27-2007

Publication Title

Science

ISSN

0036-8075

Volume

317

Issue/No.

5837

First Page

519

Last Page

523

Abstract

The world's domestic cats carry patterns of sequence variation in their genome that reflect a history of domestication and breed development. A genetic assessment of 979 domestic cats and their wild progenitors- Felis silvestris silvestris (European wildcat), F. s. lybica (Near Eastern wildcat), F. s. ornata (central Asian wildcat), F. s. cafra (southern African wildcat), and F. s. bieti (Chinese desert cat)- indicated that each wild group represents a distinctive subspecies of Felis silvestris. Further analysis revealed that cats were domesticated in the Near East, probably coincident with agricultural village development in the Fertile Crescent. Domestic cats derive from at least five founders from across this region, whose descendants were transported across the world by human assistance.

Comments

©2007 American Association for the Advancement of Science

Additional Comments

National Cancer Institute contract #: N01-CO-12400; GenBank accession #s: EF587016-EF587179

ORCID ID

0000-0001-7353-8301

ResearcherID

N-1726-2015

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