Phylogenetic relationship among all living species of the genus Bubalus based on DNA sequences of the cytochrome b gene

Biochem Genet. 1996 Dec;34(11-12):443-52. doi: 10.1007/BF00570125.


The cytochrome b genes of all living species of Bubalus, including the river type and the swamp type of domestic buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis), were sequenced to clarify their phylogenetic relationships. These sequences were compared together with the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) and banteng (Bos javanicus) sequences as an outgroup. Phylogenetic trees of Bubalus species based on the DNA sequences of the cytochrome b gene demonstrated that the tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis), endemic to the Philippines, could be classified into the subgenus Bubalus, not the subgenus Anoa. The divergence time between the lowland anoa (B. depressicornis) and the mountain anoa (B. quarlesi) was estimated at approximately 2.0 million years (Myr), which is almost the same as the coalescence time for the Bubalus sequences. This large genetic distance supports the idea that the lowland anoa and the mountain anoa are different species. An unexpectedly large genetic distance between the river and the swamp type of domestic buffaloes suggests a divergence time of about 1.7 Myr, while the swamp type was noticed to have the closest relationship with the tamaraw (1.5 Myr). This result implies that the two types of domestic buffaloes have differentiated at the full species level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Buffaloes / genetics*
  • Cytochrome b Group / genetics*
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • Genes / genetics
  • Genetic Variation / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • Cytochrome b Group
  • DNA, Mitochondrial

Associated data

  • GENBANK/D82888
  • GENBANK/D82889
  • GENBANK/D82890
  • GENBANK/D82891
  • GENBANK/D82892
  • GENBANK/D82893
  • GENBANK/D82894
  • GENBANK/D82895