Abstract | Vanishing native American dog lineages Vanishing native American dog lineages Santiago Castroviejo-Fisher email, Pontus Skoglund email, Raul Valadez email, Carles Vila email and Jennifer A Leonard email BMC Evolutionary Biology 2011, 11:73doi:10.1186/1471-2148-11-73 Published: 21 March 2011 Abstract (provisional) Background Dogs were an important element in many native American cultures at the time Europeans arrived. Although previous ancient DNA studies revealed the existence of unique native American mitochondrial sequences, these have not been found in modern dogs, mainly purebred, studied so far. Results We identified many previously undescribed mitochondrial control region sequences in 400 dogs from rural and isolated areas as well as street dogs from across the Americas. However, sequences of native American origin proved to be exceedingly rare, and we estimate that the native population contributed only a minor fraction of the gene pool that constitutes the modern population. Conclusions The high number of previously unidentified haplotypes in our sample suggests that a lot of unsampled genetic variation exists in non-breed dogs. Our results also suggest that the arrival of European colonists to the Americas may have led to an extensive replacement of the native American dog population by the dogs of the invaders.