Kouprey ( Bos sauveli) genomes unveil polytomic origin of wild Asian Bos

iScience. 2021 Oct 6;24(11):103226. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2021.103226. eCollection 2021 Nov 19.


The evolution of the genera Bos and Bison, and the nature of gene flow between wild and domestic species, is poorly understood, with genomic data of wild species being limited. We generated two genomes from the likely extinct kouprey (Bos sauveli) and analyzed them alongside other Bos and Bison genomes. We found that B. sauveli possessed genomic signatures characteristic of an independent species closely related to Bos javanicus and Bos gaurus. We found evidence for extensive incomplete lineage sorting across the three species, consistent with a polytomic diversification of the major ancestry in the group, potentially followed by secondary gene flow. Finally, we detected significant gene flow from an unsampled Asian Bos-like source into East Asian zebu cattle, demonstrating both that the full genomic diversity and evolutionary history of the Bos complex has yet to be elucidated and that museum specimens and ancient DNA are valuable resources to do so.

Keywords: Biological sciences; Evolutionary biology; Phylogenetics.