A Hu sheep genome with the first ovine Y chromosome reveal introgression history after sheep domestication


The Y chromosome plays key roles in male fertility and reflects the evolutionary history of paternal lineages. Here, we present a de novo genome assembly of the Hu sheep with the first draft assembly of ovine Y chromosome (oMSY), using nanopore sequencing and Hi-C technologies. The oMSY that we generated spans 10.6 Mb from which 775 Y-SNPs were identified by applying a large panel of whole genome sequences from worldwide sheep and wild Iranian mouflons. Three major paternal lineages (HY1a, HY1b and HY2) were defined across domestic sheep, of which HY2 was newly detected. Surprisingly, HY2 forms a monophyletic clade with the Iranian mouflons and is highly divergent from both HY1a and HY1b. Demographic analysis of Y chromosomes, mitochondrial and nuclear genomes confirmed that HY2 and the maternal counterpart of lineage C represented a distinct wild mouflon population in Iran that diverge from the direct ancestor of domestic sheep, the wild mouflons in Southeastern Anatolia. Our results suggest that wild Iranian mouflons had introgressed into domestic sheep and thereby introduced this Iranian mouflon specific lineage carrying HY2 to both East Asian and Africa sheep populations.

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Science China Life Sciences