Zoological Studies

Vol. 46 No. 1, 2007

An Unusual Pattern of Ancient Mitochondrial DNA Haplogroups in Northern African Cattle

Marina S. Ascunce1, Andrew Kitchen1, Peter R. Schmidt1,2, Michael M. Miyamoto3,* and Connie J. Mulligan1

1Department of Anthropology, Box 117305, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-7305, USA
2National Museum of Eritrea, University of Asmara, Box 1220, Asmara, Eritrea
3Department of Zoology, Box 118525, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-8525, USA

Marina S. Ascunce, Andrew Kitchen, Peter R. Schmidt, Michael M. Miyamoto, and Connie J. Mulligan (2007) In this note, we report on a newly acquired ancient DNA sequence of the mitochondrial control region for cattle (Bos taurus), as obtained from a 900-yr-old archaeological sample from Eritrea, Northeastern Africa. In combination with 4 other ancient DNA sequences from Mali, Northwestern Africa, we hypothesize that Northern African cattle were more polymorphic, ca. 900-2000 yr ago, because of the greater frequency of a mitochondrial DNA haplogroup (T/T3) that is presently rare in Africa but otherwise common throughout the greater Mediterranean region.

Key words: Ancient DNA, Mitochondrial control region, Bos taurus, Northern Africa.

*Correspondence: E-mail:miyamoto@zoo.ufl.edu