Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ancient Bison Genetic Treasure Trove For Farmers

Date:
October 23, 2009
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
Genetic information from an extinct species of bison preserved in permafrost for thousands of years could help improve modern agricultural livestock and breeding programs, according to researchers.

Professor Alan Cooper collecting bison bones for genetic analysis in Harbin, China.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Adelaide

Genetic information from an extinct species of bison preserved in permafrost for thousands of years could help improve modern agricultural livestock and breeding programs, according to University of Adelaide researchers.

Researchers from the University's Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD) worked with an international team of genomics researchers to analyse the genetic mutations of an ancient bison, many modern cattle breeds and members of the larger ruminant family tree, including deer, antelopes, and giraffes.

Their findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences today, open the way for identifying important mutations in the ancestors of domestic animals, says ACAD Director Professor Alan Cooper.

"The entire ancient bison genome was screened using a bovine SNP-chip -- which maps changes at 54,000 specific sites across the genome at once. This is the first time such a technique has been used to examine the genetic variation of any extinct species," Professor Cooper says.

The bovine SNP-chip was used to scan the genomes of 61 different ruminant species and 48 cattle breeds, to create a detailed evolutionary history for this complex group, which has proven difficult using traditional genetic studies.

Study leader Professor Jerry Taylor from the University of Missouri says: "We were surprised to find that we were able to generate very high quality genotypes for species for which the chip was not designed".

By analysing a very large number of mutations across the different genomes, the researchers were able to provide a far more comprehensive picture of the ruminant family tree, as well as revealing the relationships and movements of modern cattle breeds through time.

"Understanding how different genes create variation controlling growth efficiency, levels of marbling (intramuscular fat), and disease resistance could have a large economic impact for farmers who raise cattle throughout the world," says Professor Taylor.

ACAD post-doctoral researcher Dr Kefei Chen has since used the approach to analyse the genomes of the extinct aurochs, the ancestor of modern cattle, as well as early domestic cattle from China, Russia and Europe as part of a research program funded by the Australian Research Council.

Professor Cooper says: "We are using this approach to track genetic changes that took place during domestication, when much of the diversity in ancestral species was lost due to the very strong selection applied by early farmers for a few genetic traits such as docility, rapid growth and birth rates.

"The lost genetic variation may hold all sorts of valuable information for modern farming, including important adaptations to climate change."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Adelaide. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "Ancient Bison Genetic Treasure Trove For Farmers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091020094100.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2009, October 23). Ancient Bison Genetic Treasure Trove For Farmers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091020094100.htm
University of Adelaide. "Ancient Bison Genetic Treasure Trove For Farmers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091020094100.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Three Rare White Tiger Cubs Debut at Zoo

Raw: Three Rare White Tiger Cubs Debut at Zoo

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) The Buenos Aires Zoo debuted a trio of rare white Bengal tiger cubs on Wednesday. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins