Chromosome evolution in the subtribe Bovina (Mammalia, Bovidae): the karyotype of the Cambodian banteng (Bos javanicus birmanicus) suggests that Robertsonian translocations are related to interspecific hybridization

Chromosome Res. 2008;16(8):1107-18. doi: 10.1007/s10577-008-1262-2. Epub 2008 Oct 22.


Three subspecies of banteng (Bos javanicus) have been described: B. j. javanicus in Java, B. j. lowi in Borneo, and B. j. birmanicus in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. In this paper we provide the first description of the karyotype of the Cambodian banteng. The chromosomal complement of B. j. birmanicus differs from that of B. j. javanicus, which was previously found to be similar to that of cattle, Bos taurus (2n = 60). The Cambodian banteng karyotype has a diploid number of 2n = 56 (FN = 62) and the karyotype consists of 26 pairs of acrocentric chromosomes and two pairs of submetacentric chromosomes. Comparisons with other species of the subtribe Bovina show that the two pairs of bi-armed chromosomes resulted from two centric fusions involving the equivalent of cattle chromosomes 1 and 29, and 2 and 28, respectively. Cross-species fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) with B. taurus whole chromosome paints and satellite DNA I probes was used to identify the chromosomes involved in the translocations, and their orientation. We suggest that Robertsonian translocations (1;29) and (2;28) have been fixed in the common ancestor of Cambodian banteng as a consequence of hybridization with the kouprey (Bos sauveli) during the Pleistocene epoch.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cambodia
  • Chromosomes, Mammalian / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Hybridization, Genetic / genetics*
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Karyotyping
  • Ruminants / genetics*
  • Species Specificity
  • Translocation, Genetic / genetics*