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The Ascent of Cat Breeds: New Genetic Insights

Winn Funded Research

Lipinski, M. J., L. Froenicke, et al. (2007). “The ascent of cat breeds: genetic evaluations of breeds and worldwide random-bred populations.” Genomics 91(1): 12-21.

The diaspora of the modern cat was traced from the presumed site of domestication to distant regions of the world. The Mediterranean was reconfirmed to be the probable site of domestication. Genetic diversity has remained broad throughout the world, with distinct genetic clustering in the Mediterranean basin, Europe/America, Asia and Africa. Most breeds were derived from indigenous cats of their purported regions of origin. However, the Persian and Japanese bobtail were more aligned with European/American than with Mediterranean basin or Asian clusters. Pure breeding was associated with a loss of genetic diversity; however, this loss did not correlate with breed popularity or age.

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