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Crónicas genómicas: un viaje al origen de la domesticación del caballo a través del ADN antiguo

Jueves, 1 de febrero. Sala de conferencias, 18:00. Asistencia libre y gratuita hasta completar aforo


Grupo de caballos en la reserva de Paleolítico Vivo (Salgüero de Juarros, Burgos). © Paleolítico Vivo.

Conferencia de Jaime Lira Garrido (Investigador Marie-Curie, Centre d’Anthropobiologie et de Génomique de Toulouse -CAGT)

Genomic chronicles: A journey to the origin of horse domestication through ancient DNA

Many studies have considered the horse as the truly catalyst for the development of the cultural groups that were able to take advantage of this domesticated animal. The first domesticated horses appeared only ~5500 years ago, and the manner and timing of their domestication have been shrouded in mystery throughout the twentieth century. Ancient genome studies published during the last ten years have profoundly changed our understanding about the domestication process of this animal. Among others, they have revealed that horses were domesticated in two different places and at different times, but only one lineage has persisted to this day providing domestic individuals. Furthermore, these studies have definitively placed the phylogenetic position of the Przewalski's horse, previously considered as an animal that had never been domesticated. Moreover, two recently extinct "ghost lineages" have been identified, one located in Siberia and the other in the Iberian Peninsula, which apparently had no contribution to the domestic group.

On the other hand, analyses of ancient genomes have highlighted signals of human selection in the domestic group and the role that horses played in the spread of Indo-European languages. Surprisingly, the change in sex distribution among Eurasian horses analyzed from the Bronze Age onwards has been associated with the emergence of gender inequalities in past human societies.

In conclusion, the aim is to provide a synthesis of the main episodes of biological evolution and subsequent cultural interactions occurred in Eurasian horse populations, discovered through the