Analysis of Conserved Microsatellite Sequences Suggests Closer Relationship between Water Buffalo Bubalus bubalis and Sheep Ovis aries

Mattapallil, Mary Joseph; Ali, Sher
June 1999
DNA & Cell Biology;Jun99, Vol. 18 Issue 6, p513
Academic Journal
The distribution and evolutionary pattern of the conserved microsatellite repeat sequences (CA)n, (TGG)6, and (GGAT)4 were studied to determine the divergence time and phylogenetic position of the water buffalo, Bubalus bubalis. The mean allelic frequencies of these repeat loci showed a high level of heterozygosity among the euartiodactyls (buffalo, cattle, sheep, and goat). Genetic distances calculated from the allelic frequencies of these microsatellites were used to position Bubalus bubalis in the phylogenetic tree. The tree topology revealed a closer proximity of the Bubalus bubalis to the Ovis aries (sheep) genome than to other domestic species. The estimated time of divergence of the water buffalo genome relative to cattle, goat, sheep, pig, rabbit, and horse was found to be 21, 0.5, 0.7, 94, 20.3, and 408 million years (Myr), respectively. Although water buffaloes share morphological and biochemical similarities with cattle, our study using the microsatellite sequences places the bubaline species in an entirely new phylogenetic position. Our results also suggest that with respect to these repeat loci, the water buffalo genome shares a common ancestry with sheep and goat after the divergence of subfamily Bovinae (Bos taurus) from the family Bovidae.


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