Genome data from a sixteenth century pig illuminate modern breed relationships

O. Ramírez, W. Burgos-Paz, E. Casas, M. Ballester, E. Bianco, I. Olalde, G. Santpere, V. Novella, M. Gut, C. Lalueza-Fox, M. Saña, M. Pérez-Enciso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Ancient DNA (aDNA) provides direct evidence of historical events that have modeled the genome of modern individuals. In livestock, resolving the differences between the effects of initial domestication and of subsequent modern breeding is not straight forward without aDNA data. Here, we have obtained shotgun genome sequence data from a sixteenth century pig from Northeastern Spain (Montsoriu castle), the ancient pig was obtained from an extremely well-preserved and diverse assemblage. In addition, we provide the sequence of three new modern genomes from an Iberian pig, Spanish wild boar and a Guatemalan Creole pig. Comparison with both mitochondrial and autosomal genome data shows that the ancient pig is closely related to extant Iberian pigs and to European wild boar. Although the ancient sample was clearly domestic, admixture with wild boar also occurred, according to the D-statistics. The close relationship between Iberian, European wild boar and the ancient pig confirms that Asian introgression in modern Iberian pigs has not existed or has been negligible. In contrast, the Guatemalan Creole pig clusters apart from the Iberian pig genome, likely due to introgression from international breeds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-184
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2015


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