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Type: Journal article
Title: The Biarzo case in northern Italy: is the temporal dynamic of swine mitochondrial DNA lineages in Europe related to domestication?
Author: Vai, S.
Vilaça, S.
Romandini, M.
Benazzo, A.
Visentini, P.
Modolo, M.
Bertolini, M.
MacQueen, P.
Austin, J.
Cooper, A.
Caramelli, D.
Lari, M.
Bertorelle, G.
Citation: Scientific Reports, 2015; 5(1):16514-1-16514-9
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 2045-2322
Statement of
Stefania Vai, Sibelle Torres Vilaça, Matteo Romandini, Andrea Benazzo, Paola Visentini, Marta Modolo, Marco Bertolini, Peggy MacQueen, Jeremy Austin, Alan Cooper, David Caramelli, Martina Lari and Giorgio Bertorelle
Abstract: Genetically-based reconstructions of the history of pig domestication in Europe are based on two major pillars: 1) the temporal changes of mitochondrial DNA lineages are related to domestication; 2) Near Eastern haplotypes which appeared and then disappeared in some sites across Europe are genetic markers of the first Near Eastern domestic pigs. We typed a small but informative fragment of the mitochondrial DNA in 23 Sus scrofa samples from a site in north eastern Italy (Biarzo shelter) which provides a continuous record across a ≈6,000 year time frame from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Neolithic. We additionally carried out several radiocarbon dating. We found that a rapid mitochondrial DNA turnover occurred during the Mesolithic, suggesting that substantial changes in the composition of pig mitochondrial lineages can occur naturally across few millennia independently of domestication processes. Moreover, so-called Near Eastern haplotypes were present here at least two millennia before the arrival of Neolithic package in the same area. Consequently, we recommend a re-evaluation of the previous idea that Neolithic farmers introduced pigs domesticated in the Near East, and that Mesolithic communities acquired domestic pigs via cultural exchanges, to include the possibility of a more parsimonious hypothesis of local domestication in Europe.
Keywords: Swine
Description: Published: 09 November 2015
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
DOI: 10.1038/srep16514
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 7
Australian Centre for Ancient DNA publications

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