Gajaweera et al. BMC Genetics(2019) ARCH ARTICLEOpen AccessGenetic diversity and population structureof the Sapsaree, a native Korean dog breedChandima Gajaweera1,5†, Ji Min Kang1†, Doo Ho Lee1, Soo Hyun Lee1, Yeong Kuk Kim1, Hasini I. Wijayananda1,Jong Joo Kim3, Ji Hong Ha4, Bong Hwan Choi2* and Seung Hwan Lee1*AbstractBackground: The Sapsaree is a breed of dog (Canis familiaris) native to Korea, which became perilously close toextinction in the mid-1980s. However, with systematic genetic conservation and restoration efforts, this breed wasrescued from extinction and population sizes have been gradually increasing over the past few decades. The aimof this study was to ascertain novel information about the genetic diversity, population structure, and demographichistory of the Sapsaree breed using genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism data. We characterized thegenetic profile of the Sapsaree breed by comparison with seven foreign dog breeds with similar morphologies toestimate genetic differentiation within and among these breeds.Results: The results suggest that Sapsarees have higher genetic variance compared with the other breeds analyzed.The majority of the Sapsarees in this study share a discrete genetic pattern, although some individuals were slightlydifferent, possibly as a consequence of the recent restoration process. Concordant results from analyses of linkagedisequilibrium, effective population size, genetic diversity, and population structural analyses illustrate a relationshipamong the Sapsaree and the Tibetan breeds Tibetan terrier and Lhasa Apso, and a small genetic introgression fromEuropean breeds. The effective population size of the Sapsaree has contracted dramatically over the past generations,and is currently insufficient to maintain long-term viability of the breed’s genetic diversity.Conclusions: This study provides novel insights regarding the genetic diversity and population structure of the nativeKorean dog breed Sapsaree. Our results suggest the importance of a strategic and systematic approach to ensure thegenetic diversity and the authenticity of the Sapsaree breed.Keywords: Sapsaree, Genetic diversity, Population structureBackgroundThe domestic dog (Canis familiaris) is the most phenotypically diverse mammalian species, and one of the firstanimals to be domesticated by humans [1–3]. Whiledogs are the closest animal companion of humans, theyare still used for specialized tasks including herding,hunting, retrieving, pulling sleds, and even for militarytasks [4–6]. The gray wolf (Canis lupus) is the commonancestor of domesticated dogs, which have since beendifferentiated through artificial selection of the hugely* Correspondence: [email protected]; [email protected]†Chandima Gajaweera and Ji Min Kang contributed equally to this work.2Animal Genomics & Bioinformatics Division, National Institute of AnimalScience, RDA, Wanju 55365, Republic of Korea1Division of Animal & Dairy Science, Chungnam National University, Daejeon34134, Republic of KoreaFull list of author information is available at the end of the articlediverse features of modern breeds [7, 8]. It has been hypothesized that the domestication of dogs began nearly33,000 years ago in South East Asia. Ancestral caninesaccompanied humans in a migration to Africa and theMiddle East around 15,000 years ago, and then toEurope around 10,000 years ago [6, 9–11].Although evidence suggests dogs have been present onthe Korean peninsula for a long period of time, the specifics of canine domestication are not well understood.Some have hypothesized that current dog breeds on theKorean peninsula were gradually introduced with the influx of humans. Today, there are more than 150 dogbreeds on the Korean peninsula, and over 400 recognized dog breeds worldwide [12, 13]. Among the nativeKorean dog breeds, the Jindo, Sapsaree, and Donggyeongare protected as a designated ‘natural monument’ by theKorean government (Cultural Heritage Administration The Author(s). 2019 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, andreproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link tothe Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication o/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Gajaweera et al. BMC Genetics(2019) 20:66of Korea, #54, 368, and 540 respectively) [12, 14, 15].The Poongsan breed was also designated as a naturalmonument during the Japanese colonial period (number128), but the designation was removed by the Koreangovernment in 1962 [12, 16].The Sapsaree is a shaggy-haired and droopy-eared dogbreed believed to reflect the character of the Korean people.They have a medium body size (54–62 cm in height) andtwo distinguishable coat colors: the ‘Chung’, or blueSapsaree, and the ‘Hwang’, or yellow Sapsaree [12, 16, 17].Historical evidence suggests that Sapsarees were usedas military dogs by nobles of the Silla dynasty. Followingthe collapse of the unified Silla, Sapsarees were featuredin the classical literary works of the Joseon dynasty andhave since gained popularity throughout the Koreanpeninsula. Their disposition is friendly and gentle, andtheir loyalty has long been recognized [16, 18, 19].The population size of Sapsaree was substantially decreased and became perilously close to extinction duringthe Japanese colonial period (1910–1945) and the KoreanWar (1950–1953). In 1969, a Sapsaree revival was initiatedby Kyungpook National University, however the restoration process and systematic genetic conservation beginby 1985 at the Sapsaree Breeding Research Institute inGyeongsan, South Korea. In 1992, the Sapsaree was registered as a national treasure of Korea and their breedingand sale were strictly regulated to protect the purity of thebreed [17–23]. Current total Sapsaree population is approximately 4000 including the 500 dogs maintained atthe Sapsaree Breeding Research Institute . The existing Sapsaree population size is relatively small, and it willtherefore be necessary to expand the population size tomaintain the sustainability of the breed.Understanding the genetic diversity of domesticatedspecies is important to establish effective conservation decisions and management strategies [24, 25]. Advances ingenome technology and the availability of high densitygenome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) datahave facilitated the characterization of genetic diversityand breed composition [26, 27]. Linkage disequilibrium(LD), effective population size (Ne), and heterozygosity areparameters widely used to understand the genetic diversityof populations . The evolutionary history of a population is estimated through LD, by estimating the non-random association between two genetic markers that resultsfrom various evolutionary and demographic processes [28,29]. Another important parameter for estimating thedemographic history of a population is Ne, which estimates the rate of genetic drift, inbreeding, and the effectsof evolutionary forces such as mutation, selection, and migration [30, 31]. Heterozygosity is also a widely used parameter to measure genetic variation within a population[23, 32]. Information regarding genetic diversity, LD, Ne,and heterozygosity would therefore be useful forPage 2 of 11establishing a breeding program that avoids inbreedingwhile maintaining the breed purity of Sapsarees. However,there are a limited number of scientific studies on the genetic diversity of Sapsaree populations [20, 21, 23, 33]. Inthis study, we used high-density SNP data to estimate thegenetic diversity of the Sapsaree. We characterized thegenetic profile of the Sapsaree by comparison with sevenforeign dog breeds with similar morphology and estimatedthe genetic differentiation within and among these breeds.ResultsAs LD is expected to decay with recombination and increase the physical distance between markers , Fig. 1shows different estimates of genome-wide LD for eachof the eight populations, and declines in LD with increasing genomic distance across and within breeds.However, the rates of decay were different amongbreeds. Large differences were observed between Sapsaree, Lhasa Apso, and the other breeds. LD dropped offrapidly over a short distance in all breeds. Sapsaree andLhasa Apso showed the lowest average LD across thegenome. The breeds with the highest average LD werethe Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier at the short marker distance but, the Tibetan Terrier at the long-distancemarker. However, the LD values of Tibetan Terrier andSoft-coated Wheaten Terrier were not significantlydifferent toward the long-distance.The estimated effective population size (Ne) at t generations ago is shown in Fig. 2. The results suggest that Newas lower in the recent past compared with the ancientpast (Fig. 2). Based on the genomic data 11 generationsago, the highest Ne was for Sapsaree which approximately 54 individuals, followed by Lhasa Apso (51 individuals) and the lowest Ne was approximately 17individuals for the Tibetan Terrier (Fig. 2). In the moredistant past of 1400 generations ago, the Ne was highestfor Sapsaree approximately 2098 then 1966 for LhasaApso, and lowest for Soft-coated Wheaten terrier(approximately 764).Heterozygosity was highest in the Sapsaree (0.342),followed by the Lhasa Apso (0.309) and Tibetan Terrier(0.273). The Old English Sheepdog (0.179) and GreatPyrenees (0.232) showed the lowest heterozygosity in thepresent generation (Fig. 3). Results suggest that heterozygosity will decline drastically in the future and is predicted to reduce by half within 25 generations. Theestimated heterozygosity after 50 generations was alsohighest in the Sapsaree (0.118), with the Tibetan Terrier(0.003), Soft-coated Wheaten terrier (0.012), and OldEnglish Sheepdog (0.000) showing the lowest values.Ancestry-based models of admixture analysis were usedto show the genetic structure and admixture proportion ofthe canine ancestors (Fig. 4 and Additional file 3: FigureS3). Additional file 1: Figure S1 shows that the lowest CV
Gajaweera et al. BMC Genetics(2019) 20:66Page 3 of 11Fig. 1 The decline in genome-wide linkage disequilibrium (LD), estimated as a function of genomic distance by calculating r2 values between allpairs of SNPs with inter-SNP distances of less than 1 Mb. Lines are colored based on breedserror (0.583) was obtained at K 10. The relationship ofancestry for Sapsaree and other breeds was visualized usingK 10, where K is the number of ancestors. Admixturemodels illustrated the greater degree of diversity and admixture in Sapsaree than the other breeds. Moreover, theadmixture analysis was done with several other related dogbreeds based on the genetic distance (Additional file 4:Figure S4) also revealed a greater genetic heterogeneitywithin the Sapsaree breed. Afghan Hound, Lhasa Apso,Great Pyrenees, Old English Sheepdog, Soft-coatedWheaten terrier, and Mastiff seem to have little or no admixture from other breeds, indicating that they have lessremaining from other interacted ancestral breeds. Sapsareeindicated low levels of admixture with the Lhasa Apso andTibetan terriers. Moreover, Sapsaree showed a small levelof introgression with one of the oldest European breedMastiffs ancestry, Great Pyrenees and the Old EnglishSheepdogs. However, admixture analysis indicated thatFig. 2 Trends in effective population size (Ne) over generations based on LD (r2). Lines are colored based on breeds
Gajaweera et al. BMC Genetics(2019) 20:66Page 4 of 11Fig. 3 Estimated decay of heterozygosity over 50 generations. Lines are colored based on breedsFig. 4 Population structure plots using K 10 ancestry models. Each colored vertical line represents proportions of ancestral populations for each individual.K inferred the number of estimated ancestors and which differentiated by colors. Optimum K value was determined by Admixture’s cross-validation (CV)procedure. (Additional file 1: Figure S1)
Gajaweera et al. BMC Genetics(2019) 20:66major ancestries of Sapsaree were not shared with theother breeds used in this study.The phylogenetic tree clearly indicates a monophyletic clade of Sapsaree that is diverge from the otherbreeds, which supports the admixture analysis results(Fig. 5). The European breeds (Mastiff, Old EnglishSheepdog, Soft-coated Wheaten terrier, and GreatPyrenees) were grouped together in a single clade,and the Tibetan breeds (Tibetan Terrier and LhasaApso) comprise an adjacent monophyletic clade. TheAfghan Hound was used as a root to construct thephylogenetic tree because it is an ancient breed, andmore closer to a “real dog” than other domesticatedbreeds [7, 26, 49–51]. Our phylogenetic tree also indicates that the Afghan Hound is highly diverged fromthe other breeds.MDS analysis was used to visualize the quantitative estimates of genetic distance among the breeds (Fig. 6).Consistent with the admixture results, MDS also revealed that Sapsaree was clustered farthest from theother breeds, which supports assemblages into a singleclade on the phylogenetic tree. However, Sapsaree clusters with the Mastiff, Old English Sheepdog, and Tibetanterrier when dimension 3 was plotted against dimension4 (Additional file 2: Figure S2).Page 5 of 11DiscussionIn this study, genome-wide SNP data was used tocharacterize the genetic diversity, population structure,and demographic history of an aboriginal Korean dogbreed, the Sapsaree. The non-random association of genesat different loci is assessed as LD, which gives insight tothe structure of present populations and evolutionarydemographic events [52, 53]. Similar LD and Ne patternsin the Lhasa Apso and Sapsaree reflect their historicalsimilarities . Alam et al.  indicated that five generations ago, LD and Ne were approximately 0.2 and 64–75,respectively, which differs from our results. This variationmay be due to discrepancies between samples and differentalgorithms used . Ascertainment bias may have alsocaused the systematic deviation of population geneticstructure from its theoretical expectations [55, 56]. Ne haslong been recognized as a useful criterion for evaluatingconservation status and threats to the genetic health of apopulation . Meuwissen.  suggested that a threshold level of 50 or 100 for Ne would be necessary to maintain viable genetic diversity. Our results also emphasizethat care should be taken to maintain the reasonable genetic diversity of the Sapsaree breed.Ancient events, as well as the recent breeding program,can lead to dramatic changes in the genetic diversityFig. 5 Phylogenetic tree of Sapsaree (blue) and other dog breeds (Afghan Hound, orange
genetic diversity and the authenticity of the Sapsaree breed. Keywords: Sapsaree, Genetic diversity, Population structure Background The domestic dog (Canis familiaris) is the most pheno-typically diverse mammalian species, and one of the first animals to be domesticated by humans [1–3]. While dogs are the closest animal companion of humans, they