CATTLE DNA AND WILD ANCESTORS
RBI has been cooperating with the Leibniz-Institut fur Zoo- und Wildtierforschung Research in Germany by supplying samples from cattle for DNA analyses. The main purpose of the project is to use mtDNA analyses to assist development of a breeding programme for cattle at the Arche Warder Park (www.arche-warder.de) but also to explore links between modern breeds and ancient cattle.
There also are reports from other similar studies, including one from Cardiff University et al using SNPs to compare old British and Italian white breeds, and one from The Netherlands (Utrecht and Wageningen) using both microsatellites and SNPs in a multi-breed comparison. An interesting element of the study is the ‘re-creation’ of aurochsen by identifying animals/breeds that have retained DNA most similar to their wild ancestors.