The complete genome sequence of the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer)

Glanzmann, Brigitte ; Moller, Marlo ; Le Roex, Nikki ; Tromp, Gerard ; Hoal, Eileen G. ; Van Helden, Paul D. (2016-12-07)

CITATION: Glanzmann, B., et al. 2016. The complete genome sequence of the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer). BMC Genomics, 17:1001, doi:10.1186/s12864-016-3364-0.

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Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.


Background: The African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is an important role player in the savannah ecosystem. It has become a species of relevance because of its role as a wildlife maintenance host for an array of infectious and zoonotic diseases some of which include corridor disease, foot-and-mouth disease and bovine tuberculosis. To date, no complete genome sequence for S. caffer had been available for study and the genomes of other species such as the domestic cow (Bos taurus) had been used as a proxy for any genetics analysis conducted on this species. Here, the high coverage genome sequence of the African buffalo (S. caffer) is presented. Results: A total of 19,765 genes were predicted and 19,296 genes could be successfully annotated to S. caffer while 469 genes remained unannotated. Moreover, in order to extend a detailed annotation of S. caffer, gene clusters were constructed using twelve additional mammalian genomes. The S. caffer genome contains 10,988 gene clusters, of which 62 are shared exclusively between B. taurus and S. caffer. Conclusions: This study provides a unique genomic perspective for the S. caffer, allowing for the identification of novel variants that may play a role in the natural history and physiological adaptations.

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