Depauperate genetic variability detected in the American and European bison using genomic techniques

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  • Cino Pertoldi
  • Magorzata Tokarska, Mammal Research Institute, Polish Acedemy of Science, Poland
  • Jan M Wójcik, Mammal Research Institute, Polish Acedemy of Science, Poland
  • Ditte Holm Andersen
  • Volker Loeschcke
  • Vivi Gregersen, Denmark
  • David Coltman, Departement of Biological Science, University of Alberta, Canada
  • Gregory A Wilson, Departement of Biological Science, University of Alberta, Canada
  • Ettore Randi, Instituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale, Italy
  • Michael M Hansen, Department of Biological Sciences, Ecology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Christian Bendixen
  • Department of Genetics and Biotechnology
  • Department of Biological Sciences
  • Department of Biological Sciences, Genetics and Ecology
  • Molekylær Genetik og Systembiologi
  • Department of Human Genetics
A total of 929 polymorphic SNPs in EB (out of 54, 000 SNPs screened using a BovineSNP50 Illumina Genotyping BeadChip), and 1, 524 and 1, 403 polymorphic SNPs in WB and PB, respectively, were analysed. EB, WB and PB have all undergone recent drastic reductions in population size. Accordingly, they exhibited extremely depauperate genomes, deviations from genetic equilibrium and a genome organization consisting of a mosaic of haplotype blocks: regions with low haplotype diversity and high levels of linkage disequilibrium. No evidence for positive or stabilizing selection was found in EB, WB and PB, likely reflecting drift overwhelming selection. We suggest that utilization of genome-wide screening technologies, followed by utilization of less expensive techniques (e.g. VeraCode and Fluidigm EP1), holds large potential for genetic monitoring of populations. Additionally, these techniques will allow radical improvements of breeding practices in captive or managed populations, otherwise hampered by the limited availability of polymorphic markers. This result in improved possibilities for 1) estimating genetic relationships among individuals and 2) designing breeding strategies which attempt to preserve or reduce polymorphism in ecologically relevant genes and/or entire blocks.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiology Direct
Pages (from-to)48; discussion 48
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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