Comparative analysis of morphological and behavioral characters in the domestic dog and their importance in the reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships in canids

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Abstract

Relationships among 25 dog breeds, classified a priori by their respective ancestral trunks, were studied using data from 29 morphological and 13 behavioral characteristics. Although a certain correlation was found between both types of traits (r = 0.13; P < 0.05), this relationship was not manifested, regarding the level of racial classification, in the obtained dendrograms. The relationships between breeds obtained from morphological data were more congruent than those obtained from behavioral data when compared with phylogenies from other sources of information (mainly electrophoretic analysis). This indicates that the morphological characters could give more and better complementary information than the behavioral ones in the reconstruction of the phylogenetic relationships of canids. The mean character difference (MCD), used as a measure of taxonomic resemblance between breeds, had a value of 0.53 (±0.12 STD), and was of a magnitude very similar to that obtained in other domestic animal species (cattle, horse, sheep and goats), indicating that a similar degree of morphological differences between breeds of these species exists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-57
JournalGenetics and Molecular Biology
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999

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