|Photo Credit: Stefano Marelli|
A landrace is a regional type of domestic animal that over a long period of time has adapted to its purpose and environment through unregulated selection for behavior. Landrace dogs were common up through the early 1800s, but most disappeared as a consequence of cross breeding with dogs introduced by travelers.
The Sardinian Sheepdog is a breed because it's been created within an isolated population of animals. Sardinian shepherds allowed only their best working dogs to reproduce.
|The Cane Fonnese is a herding and livestock guardian dog |
with a rough coat that can be grey, black, brindle, brown or white.
Photo Credit: Gian Piero Canalis
Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, just south of Corsica. The island was populated in multiple waves of people as far back as the upper paleolithic.
The study also revealed that the Sardinain Sheepdog originated from sight hounds developed in the near and middle east as well as large mastiff-like sheep guarding dogs from an area around Hungary.
Their genomic map mirrors human migration. Just like their dogs, the people of Sardinia derive from Hungary and the middle east.
Science Daily offers a reader-friendly description of the significance of the study: "Just as Sardinian people have long provided a wealth of genetic insights to scientists, the canine natives are an example of an isolated population that could prove a powerful resource for finding genes that influence health and behavior."
Read more about Cane Fonnese, landrace animals, and Sardinia.
D. L. Dreger, B. W. Davis, R. Cocco, S. Sechi, A. Di Cerbo, H. G. Parker, M. Polli, S. P. Marelli, P. Crepaldi, E. A. Ostrander. Commonalities in Development of Pure Breeds and Population Isolates Revealed in the Genome of the Sardinian Fonni's Dog. Genetics, 2016; 204 (2): 737 DOI: 10.1534/genetics.116.192427