Conservation genomics: disequilibrium mapping of domestic cattle chromosomal segments in North American bison populations. Academic Article uri icon


  • Introgressive hybridization is one of the major threats to species conservation, and is often induced by human influence on the natural habitat of wildlife species. The ability to accurately identify introgression is critical to understanding its importance in evolution and effective conservation management of species. Hybridization between North American bison (Bison bison) and domestic cattle (Bos taurus) as a result of human activities has been recorded for over 100 years, and domestic cattle mitochondrial DNA was previously detected in bison populations. In this study, linked microsatellite markers were used to identify domestic cattle chromosomal segments in 14 genomic regions from 14 bison populations. Cattle nuclear introgression was identified in five populations, with an average frequency per population ranging from 0.56% to 1.80%. This study represents the first use of linked molecular markers to examine introgression between mammalian species and the first demonstration of domestic cattle nuclear introgression in bison. To date, six public bison populations have been identified with no evidence of mitochondrial or nuclear domestic cattle introgression, providing information critical to the future management of bison genetic resources. The ability to identify even low levels of introgression resulting from historic hybridization events suggests that the use of linked molecular markers to identify introgression is a significant development in the study of introgressive hybridization across a broad range of taxa.

published proceedings

  • Mol Ecol

altmetric score

  • 5

author list (cited authors)

  • Halbert, N. D., Ward, T. J., Schnabel, R. D., Taylor, J. F., & Derr, J. N.

citation count

  • 46

complete list of authors

  • Halbert, Natalie D||Ward, Todd J||Schnabel, Robert D||Taylor, Jeremy F||Derr, James N

publication date

  • July 2005