China has a rich resource of native sheep (Ovis aries) breeds associated with historical movements of several nomadic societies. However, the history of sheep and the associated nomadic societies in ancient China remains poorly understood. Here, we studied the genomic diversity of Chinese sheep using genome-wide SNPs, mitochondrial and Y-chromosomal variations in > 1,000 modern samples. Population genomic analyses combined with archeological records and historical ethnic demographics data revealed genetic signatures of the origins, secondary expansions and admixtures, of Chinese sheep thereby revealing the peopling patterns of nomads and the expansion of early pastoralism in East Asia. Originating from the Mongolian Plateau ∼5,000‒5,700 years ago, Chinese sheep were inferred to spread in the upper and middle reaches of the Yellow River ∼3,000‒5,000 years ago following the expansions of the Di-Qiang people. Afterwards, sheep were then inferred to reach the Qinghai-Tibetan and Yunnan-Kweichow plateaus ∼2,000‒2,600 years ago by following the north-to-southwest routes of the Di-Qiang migration. We also unveiled two subsequent waves of migrations of fat-tailed sheep into northern China, which were largely commensurate with the migrations of ancestors of Hui Muslims eastward and Mongols southward during the 12th‒13th centuries. Furthermore, we revealed signs of argali introgression into domestic sheep, extensive historical mixtures among domestic populations and strong artificial selection for tail type and other traits, reflecting various breeding strategies by nomadic societies in ancient China.
Authors and Publishers
The Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR) was established in 1999 through the merger of the former Institute of Geography (IOG), founded in 1940, and the former Commission for the Integrated Survey of Natural Resources (CISNAR), founded in 1956.
Utrecht University is a university in Utrecht, the Netherlands. It is one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands. Established March 26, 1636, it had an enrollment of 30,449 students in 2012, and employed 5,295 faculty and staff. In 2011, 485 PhD degrees were awarded and 7,773 scientific articles were published. The 2013 budget of the university was €765 million.
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ILRI's strategy 2013-2022 was approved in December 2012. It emerged from a wide processof consultation and engagement.
ILRI envisions... a world where all people have access to enough food and livelihood options to fulfil their potential.
ILRI’s mission is... to improve food and nutritional security and to reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe and sustainable use of livestock—ensuring better lives through livestock.
ILRI’s three strategic objectives are:
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