Ditte Demontis

Genes of the extinct Caucasian bison still roam the Białowiez˙a Forest and are the source of genetic discrepances between Polish and Belarusian populations of the European bison, Bison bonasus

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

DOI

  • Małgorzata Tokarska, Polish Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Aleksei N. Bunevich, State National Park
  • ,
  • Ditte Demontis
  • Taras Sipko, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Kajetan Perzanowski, Museum and Institute of Zoology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
  • ,
  • Gennady Baryshnikov, Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Rafał Kowalczyk, Polish Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Yuliya Voitukhovskaya, Belarus Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Jan Marek Wójcik, Polish Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Barbara Marczuk, Polish Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Iwona Ruczyńska, Polish Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Cino Pertoldi

European bison (Bison bonasus) populations from both the Polish (PL) and the Belarusian (BY) sides of the Białowiez˙a Forest represent the Lowland genetic line (LB line) - progeny of the Lowland bison (Bison bonasus bonasus) that inhabited western, central, and south-eastern Europe in historical times. During the species recovery, one of the founders was a descendant of the extinct Caucasian bison (Bison bonasus caucasicus) and its descendants formed the other genetic line - Lowland-Caucasian (LC). There have been justified suspicions that LB European bison in the former Soviet Union had undergone cross-mating with the LC line. We performed a comparative genetic analyses on European bison from the BY and PL parts of the Białowiez˙a Forest, the LC line and extinct Caucasian bison, based on a set of 19 microsatellite markers and 1512 bovine single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers, polymorphic in at least one of the studied populations. Although genetic variability (mean allele number and expected heterozygosity) for both populations were similar, the FST jack-knifing and principal component analyses PCA revealed highly significant differences between PL and BY bison from the Białowiez˙a Forest. Examining DNA of the extinct Caucasian bison revealed that at least part of the genetic variants found in the BY, but not the PL, population were of Caucasian origin. The results indicate that the contemporary population of European bison from the BY part of the Białowiez˙a Forest should not be regarded as a LB line. The results also suggest that the actual global population size of the LB line European bison is only a half of its official status. Consideration of the presented results are crucial in determining management actions and policy decisions in order to conserve LB line bison within the Białowiez˙a Forest - its natural refuge.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftBiological Journal of the Linnean Society
Vol/bind114
Nummer4
Sider (fra-til)752-763
Antal sider12
ISSN0024-4066
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 1 apr. 2015

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