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Genome data on the extinct Bison schoetensacki establish it as a sister species of the extant European bison (Bison bonasus)

Abstract : Background: The European bison (Bison bonasus), now found in Europe and the Caucasus, has been proposed to originate either from the extinct steppe/extant American bison lineage or from the extinct Bison schoetensacki lineage. Bison schoetensacki remains are documented in Eurasian Middle Pleistocene sites, but their presence in Upper Pleistocene sites has been questioned. Despite extensive genetic studies carried out on the steppe and European bison, no remains from the fossil record morphologically identified as Bison schoetensacki has been analyzed up to now. Results: In this paper, we analyzed a 36,000-year-old Bison schoetensaki bone sample from the Sirejol cave ( France) and a cave hyena coprolite (fossilized feces) found in a nearby cave and containing large amounts of Bovinae DNA. We show that the Bovinae mitochondrial DNA sequences from both samples, including a complete mitochondrial genome sequence, belong to a clade recently reported in the literature. This clade only includes ancient bison specimens without taxonomic identification and displays a sister relationship with the extant European bison. The genetic proximity of Bison schoetensacki with specimens from this clade is corroborated by the analysis of nuclear DNA single nucleotide polymorphisms. Conclusions: This work provides genetic evidence supporting the continuing presence of Bison schoetensacki up to the Upper Pleistocene. Bison schoetensacki turns out to be a sister species of Bison bonasus, excluding the steppe bison Bison priscus as a direct ancestor of the European bison.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 23, 2019 - 2:48:51 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 3:54:03 PM

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Pauline Palacio, Veronique Berthonaud, Claude Guerin, Josie Lambourdiere, Frederic Maksud, et al.. Genome data on the extinct Bison schoetensacki establish it as a sister species of the extant European bison (Bison bonasus). BMC Evolutionary Biology, 2017, 17, ⟨10.1186/s12862-017-0894-2⟩. ⟨hal-02329285⟩

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