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New research discloses genetic history of camels

Use by human societies in primordial trade routes has shaped the genetic diversity of the camel, famously known as the 'ship of the desert,' finds a interesting study of its ancient and modern DNA.


New research discloses genetic history of camels

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Recent research conducted by experts from Nottingham University in Britain has managed to reveal the genetic history of camels.

Use by human societies in primordial trade routes has shaped the genetic diversity of the camel, famously known as the 'ship of the desert,' finds a interesting study of its ancient and modern DNA.

Single-humped 'Arabian camels', properly known as 'dromedaries' (Camelus dromedarius), have been fundamental to the development of human societies, providing food and transport in desert countries, for over 3000 years.

Researchers analysed genetic information from a sample of 1,083 living dromedaries from 21 countries across the world.

The findings showed that they were genetically very similar, despite populations being hundreds of miles apart.

Centuries of cross-continental trade caused this "blurring" of genetics, the researchers explained.

"Our analysis of this extensive dataset actually revealed that there is very little defined population structure in modern dromedaries. We believe this is a consequence of cross-continental back and forth movements along historic trading routes," said Olivier Hanotte, professor at Nottingham University in Britain.

"Our results point to extensive gene flow which affects all regions except East Africa where dromedary populations have remained relatively isolated," Hanotte added.

(With IANS inputs)

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