Chromosome-level reference genome for North American bison (Bison bison) and variant database aids in identifying albino mutation. Academic Article uri icon


  • We developed a highly contiguous chromosome-level reference genome for North American bison to provide a platform to evaluate the conservation, ecological, evolutionary, and population genomics of this species. Generated from a F1 hybrid between a North American bison dam and a domestic cattle bull, completeness and contiguity exceed that of other published bison genome assemblies. To demonstrate the utility for genome-wide variant frequency estimation, we compiled a genomic variant database consisting of 3 true albino bison and 44 wild-type pelage color bison. Through the examination of genomic variants fixed in the albino cohort and absent in the controls, we identified a nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mutation on chromosome 29 in exon 3 of the tyrosinase gene (c.1114C>T). A TaqMan SNP Genotyping Assay was developed to genotype this SNP in a total of 283 animals across 29 herds. This assay confirmed the absence of homozygous variants in all animals except 7 true albino bison included in this study. In addition, the only heterozygous animals identified were 2 wild-type pelage color dams of albino offspring. Therefore, we propose that this new high-quality bison genome assembly and incipient variant database provides a highly robust and informative resource for genomics investigations for this iconic North American species.

published proceedings

  • G3 (Bethesda)

author list (cited authors)

  • Stroupe, S., Martone, C., McCann, B., Juras, R., Kjllerstrm, H. J., Raudsepp, T., ... Derr, J. N.

complete list of authors

  • Stroupe, Sam||Martone, Carly||McCann, Blake||Juras, Rytis||Kjöllerström, Helena Josefina||Raudsepp, Terje||Beard, Donald||Davis, Brian W||Derr, James N

editor list (cited editors)

  • Mallarino, R.