New Publication – Science

Todd E.T., Tonasso-Calvière L., Chauvey L., Schiavinato S., Fages A. […] Orlando L. 2022. The genomic history and global expansion of domestic donkeys. Science 377, 1172-1180

We teamed up with archaeologists, conservation and evolutionary biologists to sequence an extensive worldwide panel of modern and ancient donkey genomes.

The population structure supports domestication origins 7000 ya in Africa, with those modern populations from Horn and Kenya closest to the original source.

It also supports an expansion towards Western Africa around 5000 ya, and soon after Out-of-Africa, then differentiating into Europe and Asia, with back migrations into Africa… ” [L. Orlando]

COVER A donkey from Petra, Jordan, carries goods through the rugged landscape, as millions of others have done for millennia. Genetic analysis tracks their journey from a single domestic origin in Africa as early as 7000 years ago to rapid expansions through Eurasia 2500 years later. Ancient genomes also reveal trans-Mediterranean exchange, giant Roman beasts, and previously unknown diversity in the Levant. See page 1172.
Photo: Brit Büchner/EyeEm via Getty Images

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