Genomic evidence refutes the hypothesis that the Bornean banteng is a distinct species

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The banteng (Bos javanicus) is an endangered species within the wild Asian Bos complex, that has traditionally been subdivided into three geographically isolated subspecies based on (i) mainland Southeast Asia (B. j. birmanicus), (ii) Java (B. j. javanicus), and (iii) Borneo (B. j. lowi). However, analysis of a single Bornean banteng mitochondrial genome generated through a genome skimming approach was used to suggest that it may actually represent a distinct species (Ishige et al. in Mitochondrial DNA A DNA Mapp Seq Anal 27(4):2453-4. , 2016). To explore this hypothesis further, we leveraged on the GenBank (NCBI) raw read sequencing data originally used to construct the mitochondrial genome and reconstructed its nuclear genome at low (0.2x) coverage. When analysed in the context of nuclear genomic data representing a broad reference panel of Asian Bos species, we find the Bornean banteng affiliates strongly with the Javan banteng, in contradiction to the expectation if the separate species hypothesis was correct. Thus, despite the Bornean banteng's unusual mitochondrial lineage, we argue there is no genomic evidence that the Bornean banteng is a distinct species.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110
JournalBMC Ecology and Evolution
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2022

    Research areas

  • Bornean banteng, Genomics, Phylogeny, Taxonomy, FRAMEWORK

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