Genetic inference of the mating system of free-ranging domestic dogs

Natoli, Eugenia, Bonanni, Roberto, Cafazzo, Simona , Mills, Daniel, Pointer, Dominique and Pilot, Malgorzata (2021) Genetic inference of the mating system of free-ranging domestic dogs. Behavioral Ecology, 32 (4). pp. 646-656. ISSN 1045-2249

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Genetic inference of the mating system of free-ranging domestic dogs
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Domestication has greatly changed the social and reproductive behavior of dogs relative to that of wild members of the genus Canis, which typically exhibit social monogamy and extended parental care. Unlike a typical gray wolf pack that consists of a single breeding pair and their offspring from multiple seasons, a group of free-ranging dogs (FRDs) can include multiple breeding individuals of both sexes. To understand the consequences of this shift in reproductive behavior, we reconstructed the genetic pedigree of an FRD popula�tion and assessed the kinship patterns in social groups, based on genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism genotypes. Consistent with behavioral observations, the mating system of the study population was characterized by polygynandry. Instead of the discreet family units observed in wolves, FRDs were linked by a network of kinship relationships that spread across packs. However, we also
observed reproduction of the same male–female pairs in multiple seasons, retention of adult offspring in natal packs, and dispersal between neighboring packs—patterns in common with wolves. Although monogamy is the predominant mating system in wolves, po�lygyny and polyandry are occasionally observed in response to increased food availability. Thus, polygynandry of domestic dogs was likely influenced by the shift in ecological niche from an apex predator to a human commensal.

Keywords:Domestication, free-ranging dogs, mating systems, polygynandry
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D390 Veterinary Sciences not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:46655
Deposited On:05 Oct 2021 09:59

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