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Research shows how humans shaped genetic history of camels

In The Older Times, Camels Have Played An Important Role In Transportation. Scientists, For The First Time Have Shed Life On How The Human's Use Of Single-humped Camels, Who Have Been Fundamental To The Development Of Societies And Transportation In Deserts For Over 3000 Years, Has Shaped The Animal's Genetic Diversity.

PTI | Updated on: 15 May 2016, 04:25:16 PM
Research shows how human shaped genetic history of camels


In the older times, camels have played an important role in transportation. Scientists, for the first time have shed life on how the human's use of single-humped camels, who have been fundamental to the development of societies and transportation in deserts for over 3000 years, has shaped the animal's genetic diversity.

International scientists including researchers from the University of Nottingham in UK suggest long-distance and back-and-forth movements in ancient camel caravan routes were important in shaping camel's genetic diversity. Researchers found that single-humped 'Arabian camels' have been fundamental to the development of human societies, providing food and transport in desert countries for over 3000 years. (Also read. NASA Curiosity Rover reveals Mars is clear in winter, dustier in spring and summer, windy in autumn)

Still these Arabian camels continue to be vital resource in trade and agriculture in hot, dry areas of the world, providing transport, milk and meat where other species would not survive. In the study, scientists examined combined this with an examination of ancient DNA sequences from bone samples from early-domesticated dromedaries from 400-1870 AD and wild ones from 5,000-1,000 BC to show for the first time ever an historic genetic picture of the species.

"We believe this is a consequence of cross-continental back and forth movements along historic trading routes. Our results point to extensive gene flow which affects all regions except East Africa where dromedary populations have remained relatively isolated," Hanotte said. They collected and analysed genetic information from a sample of 1,083 living dromedaries from 21 countries across the world. The dromedary has outperformed all other domesticated mammals, including the donkey. (Also read. NASA’s Messenger Mission: Scientists unveils the first global topographic model of Mercury)

“It underlines the animal's potential to adapt sustainably to future challenges of expanding desert areas and global climate change,”he added. The findings were published in the journal PNAS.

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First Published : 14 May 2016, 07:42:00 PM