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Phylogenetic Relationships in the Subfamily Bovinae (Mammalia: Artiodactyla) Based on Ribosomal DNA

David A. Wall, Scott K. Davis, Bruce M. Read
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1382056 262-275 First published online: 26 May 1992


Relationships in the subfamily Bovinae were examined using restriction-endonuclease site mapping of nuclear-ribosomal DNA. Phylogenetic analysis of the data supports the monophyly of the tribe Bovini and a sister-group relationship between the tribes Bovini and Boselaphini. Two lineages exist within the Bovini, the buffaloes (Syncerus and Bubalus) and the cattle (Bos and Bison). Data are presented to support recent studies that suggest the genus Bos is paraphyletic with respect to the genus Bison and that the genera should be combined. A comparison of chromosomal and ribosomal-DNA data indicates that 2n = 60 and FN = 58 is the most likely ancestral condition for the Bovinae. Numerous Robertsonian events have occurred during the radiation of the group, particularly in the buffaloes. Phylogenies based on ribosomal DNA, morphology, and chromosomes are combined to give a hypothesis of evolution in the subfamily.

Key words
  • Bovinae
  • ribosomal DNA
  • phylogenetics
  • restriction site mapping

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