Navigation Links
Study reveals impact of historical domestic cattle hybridization with American bison
Date:8/7/2012

Plains bison are an iconic symbol of America on everything from coins to state flags. Now scientists writing in Conservation Biology are exploring how the cross-breeding of bison with domestic cattle in the late 1800s may still have unwanted effects on modern populations of the species.

"The plains bison are an iconic symbol of rugged individualism and the will to survive," said Professor James Derr from Texas A&M University. "The population crash and the spectacular recovery over the last 125 years is a classic example of the resilience of this species and the success of science based wildlife conservation."

Plains bison (Bison bison bison) once numbered in the tens of millions, but they were driven to the brink of extinction in the late 1880's during America's westward expansion. A small population of wild bison survived in Yellowstone National Park, while 5 herds remained in the hands of private ranchers. It is estimated that less than 100 surviving bison became the common ancestors of today's herds.

In some of these privately held herds, bison were crossed with domesticated cattle in an attempt to introduce the hardy bison traits into beef producing animals. While this effort failed to produce new and improved beef breeds, some hybrids were created, and with the use of molecular technologies, these scientists have discovered there remains a legacy of small amount of cattle genetic contamination in most bison herds in North America.

"Looking at the long-term recovery of the bison it is important to find out if this small amount of cattle genetics in an otherwise normal bison can really have a biological effect," said Derr. "We brought together researchers from Arizona, California, Montana and Texas to find out."

The team recorded size measurements for over 900 bison from a nutritionally harsh environment for bison on Santa Catalina Island in California and a nutritionally rich environment on a ranch in Montana.

The results revealed that bison with a particular domestic cattle genetic trait, mitochondrial DNA, were consistently smaller and lighter than animals with true bison mitochondrial DNA in both environments.

"We have found that this cattle ancestry affects phenotypic traits and most likely fitness of bison in herds which are maintained for both production and species conservation," concluded Derr. "Long term management efforts with bison, and possibly other species with a history of hybridization, must carefully consider the importance of genome integrity in order to preserve what is the foundation and essence of these species, their genomes."


'/>"/>
Contact: Ben Norman
Sciencenewsroom@wiley.com
44-012-437-70375
Wiley
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that bacteria communicate by touch
2. Law that regulates shark fishery is too liberal: UBC study
3. New study will help protect vulnerable birds from impacts of climate change
4. Study jointly led by UCSB researcher supports theory of extraterrestrial impact
5. BYU study: Using a gun in bear encounters doesnt make you safer
6. 15-year study: When it comes to creating wetlands, Mother Nature is in charge
7. Pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract) shown to improve menopause symptoms in new study
8. Crystal structure of archael chromatin clarified in new study
9. EU-funded study underlines importance of Congo Basin for global climate and biodiversity
10. University of Houston study shows BP oil spill hurt marshes, but recovery possible
11. Study demonstrates cells can acquire new functions through transcriptional regulatory network
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/22/2016)... India , March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... market research report "Electronic Sensors Market for Consumer ... Proximity, & Others), Application (Communication & IT, ... Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published ... industry is expected to reach USD 26.76 ...
(Date:3/18/2016)... LONDON , March 18, 2016 ... Established Suppliers of Biometrics, ICT, Manned & Unmanned Vehicles, Physical ... & security companies in the border security market and ... and Europe has led ... your companies improved success. --> defence & ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... JERUSALEM , March 15, 2016 ... Jerusalem , the technology-transfer company of the Hebrew University, ... developer of remote sensing technology of various human biological ... funding, raising $2.0 million from private investors. ... technology, based on the detection of electromagnetic emissions from ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... , ... May 03, 2016 , ... According to world ... for definitive prostate cancer treatment, patients traditionally had two main treatment options: surgery or ... would be made. , New technology has enabled doctors to administer higher doses ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... , May 2, 2016 Q ... its technology partner Mannin Research Inc. will be attending ... which takes place from May 1-5, 2016 in ... be meeting with its vendors and research partners. The ... development goals and other collaborative opportunities for the MAN-01 ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... May 02, 2016 , ... StarNet ... solutions today announced the addition of three Secure Remote Desktop modules to its flagship ... remote desktops from Linux and Unix servers to the user’s PC over encrypted SSH. ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... Como, Italy (PRWEB) , ... April 30, 2016 , ... ... their extraordinary textile design, the bioLogic team explored how bacterial properties can be applied ... ways of using Natto bacteria, which move in response to humidity change. The team ...
Breaking Biology Technology: