general info about Theriologia Ukrainica

Theriologia Ukrainica

ISSN 2616-7379 (print) • ISSN 2617-1120 (online)

2020 • Vol. 19 • Contents of volume >>>

download pdfHomel, K. V., K. Sliwinska, A. A. Valnisty, M. E. Nikiforov 2020. New data on the genetic diversity of European bison (Bison bonasus) in Belarus. Theriologia Ukrainica, 19: 45-53.


New data on the genetic diversity of European bison (Bison bonasus) in Belarus


Homel, K. V., K. Sliwinska, A. A. Valnisty, M. E. Nikiforov


SSPA “SPC NAS of Belarus on Bioresources” (Homel, Belarus)


Theriologia Ukrainica. 2020. Vol. 19: 45-53.




English, with Ukrainian summary, titles of tables, captures to figs


The paper presents data on the assessment of the genetic diversity of five subpopulations of the European bison (Bison bonasus) in Belarus — from the National Park “Belovezhskaya Pushcha”, the National Park “Pripyatsky”, the Osipovichi district (Mogilev area), SEI “Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve” and the Grodno region. In general, the work includes 30 samples of muscle tissue from the collection of Gene bank of wild fauna in SSPA “SPC NAS of Belarus on Bioresources” (Minsk, Belarus). Microsatellites were used as markers to assess genetic diversity, structure, and search for signs of a sharp decline in the size of bison subpopulations in the past. A total of 11 microsatellite markers were used, recommended by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for cattle research. The analysis of B. bonasus subpopulation from the NP “Pripyatsky” showed signs of passing through the genetic bottleneck. All studied subpopulations are characterized by a similarly low genetic diversity level in all analyzed indicators (mean number of alleles, allelic diversity, observed and expected heterozygosity). The expected heterozygosity (He) for the three subpopulations from the NP “Belovezhskaya Pushcha”, the NP “Pripyatsky” and from the Osipovichi district ranged from 0.37 to 0.39. For the studied subpopulations, the values of the fixation index were negative. The assessment of the presence of genetic structuring between the subpopulations of bison from the NP “Belovezhskaya Pushcha”, the NP “Pripyatsky” and from the Osipovichi district based on the values of such indexes as Fst and DJost which showed no signs of genetic differentiation, which is also confirmed by principal coordinates analysis (PCoA). The European bison conservation in Belarus has required tremendous efforts in the past. So far, even though the impressively large population size reached in Belarus, B. bonasus status still should not be considered as stable, which is closely linked to aspects of its overall low genetic diversity. Our research confirmed the low genetic variability of Belarusian subpopulations. Therefore, the more extensive research concentrated on identifying genetic diversity is necessary to ensure the beneficial control of gene flow and register a potential correlation of unfavorable gene variants with possible inbreeding depression. These attempts are required to lay the groundwork for the management and protection of the European bison in Belarus.


European bison, Bison bonasus, subpopulations, genetic diversity, genetic structuring, Belarus.



Babik, W., A. Kawalko, J. M. Wojcik, J. Radwan. 2012. Low Major Histocompatibility Complex Class I (MHC I) Variation in the European Bison (Bison bonasus). Journal of Heredity, 103 (3): 349–359.
Bunevich, A. N., M. Krasinska, K. Daleszczyk. 2006. Creation and growth of the free-ranging population of Lowland European bison, Bison bonasus bonasus (L.) in the Belarusian part of Bialowieza Forest. Parki Narodowe i Rezerwaty Przyrody, 25: 101–118.
Burzynska, B., W. Olech, J. Topczewski. 1999. Bisoniana 119. Phylogeny and genetic variation of the European bison Bison bonasus based on mitochondrial DNA D-loop sequences. Acta Theriologica, 44: 253–262.
Burzynska, B., J. Topczewski. 2009. Genotyping of Bison bonasus K-casein gene following DNA sequence amplification. Animal Genetics, 26 (5): 335–336.
Commission on genetic resources for food and agriculture (Ed.). 2011. Molecular genetic characterization of animal genetic resources, FAO animal production and health guidelines. Commission on Genetic resources for Food and Agriculture, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, 1-85.
Cornuet, J. M., G. Luikart. 1996. Description and power analysis of two tests for detecting recent population bottlenecks from allele frequency data. Genetics, 144 (4): 2001–2014.
Excoffier, L., G. Laval, S. Schneider. 2007. Arlequin (version 3.0): an integrated software package for population genetics data analysis. Evolutionary Bioinformatics Online, 1: 47–50.
Gebczynski, M., K. Tomaszewska-Guszkiewicz. 1987. Genetic variability in the European bison. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 15: 285–288.
Gralak, B., M. Krasinska, C. Niemczewski, Z. A. Krasinski, M. Zurkowski. 2004. Polymorphism of bovine microsatellite DNA sequences in the lowland European bison. Acta Theriologica, 49 (4): 449–456.
Hammer, O., D. A. T. Harper, P. D. Ryan. 2001. PAST: paleontological statistics software package for education and data analysis. Palaeontologia Electronica, (1): 9.
Hartl, G. B., Z. Pucek. 1994. Genetic depletion in the European bison (Bison bonasus) and the significance of electrophoretic heterozygosity for conservation. Conservation Biology, 8(1): 167–174.
Keenan, K., P. McGinnity, T. F. Cross, W. W. Crozier, P. A. Prodohl. 2013. Diversity?: An R package for the estimation and exploration of population genetics parameters and their associated errors. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, (8): 782–788.
Kobrynczuk, F. 1985. The influence of inbreeding on the shape and size of the skeleton of the European bison. Acta Theriologica, 30 (25): 379?422.
Kostyunina, O. V., M. E. Mikhailova, A. V. Dotsev, I. I. Zemlyanko, V. V. Volkova, M. S. Fornara, N. A. Akopyan, A. S. Kramarenko, I. M. Okhlopkov, P. V. Aksenova, E. L. Tsibizova, R. A. Mnatsekanov, N. A. Zinovieva. 2020. Com­parative genetic characteristics of the Russian and Belarusian populations of wisent (Bison bonasus), North American Bison (Bison bison) and cattle (Bos taurus). Cytology and Genetics, 54 (2): 116–123.
Lopienska, M., Z. Nowak, K. M. Charon, W. Olech. 2003. Assessment of the polymorphism at a selected region of the MHC in two genetic lineages of the European bison (Bison bonasus L.). Zesz. Nauk. Przegl. Hod., 68: 17–24.
Luenser, K., J. Fickel, A. Lehnen, S. Speck, A. Ludwig. 2005. Low level of genetic variability in European bisons (Bison bonasus) from the Bialowieza National Park in Poland. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 51 (2): 84–87.
Mikailova, M. Ye., Yu. V. Voytyukhovskaya. 2014. Evaluation of genetic structure of European bison (Bison bonasus L.) by a single nucleotide polymorphism genes DRB3 and DQB of major histocompatibility complex (МНС). Molecular and Applied Genetics: Proceedings, 18: 70–76.
Mikhailova, M. E., Y. V. Medvedeva. 2013. Comparison of allele rates in microsatellite loci of the Belarusian and Polish population of European bison (Bison bonasus). Vestsi Natsyyanal’nai akademii navuk Belarusi. Seryya biyalagichnych navuk = Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. Biological series, 2: 47–52.
Olech, W. 2003. Wplyw inbredu osobniczego i inbredu matki na przezywalnosc ciela?t zubra (Bison bonasus). Wydawn. SGGW, Warszawa.
Olech, W. 2007. European Bison. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. URL
Olenski, K., D. M. Hering, M. Tokarska, L. Iacolina, A. V. Stronen, C. Pertoldi, S. Kaminski. 2020. A refined genome-wide association study of posthitis in lowland Bialowieza population of the European bison (Bison bonasus). European Journal of Wildlife Research, 66 (1): 4.
Peakall, R., P. E. Smouse. 2012. GenAlEx 6.5: genetic analysis in Excel. Population genetic software for teaching and research--an update. Bioinformatics, 28 (19): 2537–2539.
Peakall, R., P. E. Smouse. 2006. Genalex 6: genetic analysis in Excel. Population genetic software for teaching and research. Molecular Ecology Notes, 6 (1): 288–295.
Pertoldi, C., M. Tokarska, J. M. Wojcik, D. Demontis, V. Loeschcke, V. R. Gregersen, D. Coltman, G. A. Wilson, E. Randi, M. M. Hansen, C. Bendixen. 2009. Depauperate genetic variability detected in the American and European bison using genomic techniques. Biology Direct, (1): 48.
Pucek, Z., IUCN/SSC Bison Specialist Group, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (Eds). 2004. European bison: status survey and conservation action plan. IUCN, Gland; Cambridge, 1–54.
Raczynski, J., M. Bolbot. 2019. European bison pedigree book 2019. Logo-Art, Bialowieza, Poland, 1–82.
Radwan, J., A. Kawalko, J. M. Wojcik, W. Babik. 2007. MHC-DRB3 variation in a free-living population of the European bison, Bison bonasus. Molecular Ecology, 16 (3): 531–540.
Raymond, M., F. Rousset. 1995. Genepop (Version 1.2): population genetics software for exact tests and ecumenicism. Journal of Heredity, 86 (3): 248–249.
Rousset, F. 2008. genepop’007: a complete re-implementation of the genepop software for Windows and Linux. Molecular Ecology Resources, (1): 103–106.
Selkoe, K. A., R. J. Toonen. 2006. Microsatellites for ecologists: a practical guide to using and evaluating microsatellite markers. Ecology Letters, (5): 615–629.
Sewalem, A., G. J. Kistemaker, F. Miglior, B. J. Van Doormaal. 2006. Analysis of inbreeding and its relationship with functional longevity in Canadian dairy cattle. Journal of Dairy Science, 89 (6): 2210–2216.
Shakun, V. V. 2019. European bison (Bison bonasus) in Belarus: current state and prospects for the conservation, In: Conservation Problems of the European Bison Bison bonasus. Presented at the International Scientific Conference “Problems of Conservation of European Bison (Bison bonasus)” dedicated to the 85th anniversary of the birth of Professor P.G. Kozlo, September 24-26, Minsk, Belarus, Minsk, 78–84.
Sipko, T. P., G. S. Rautian, I. G. Udina, S. V. Ukhanov, Z. I. Berendiaeva. 1995. Blood group polymorphism in bison (Bison bonasus). Genetika, 31 (1): 93–100. (In Russian)
Sipko, T. P., I. G. Udina, I. N. Badagueva, G. E. Sulimova. 1994. Comparative characteristics of DNA polymorphism of the kappa-casein gene in representatives of the family Bovidae. Genetika, 30 (2): 225–229. (In Russian)
Tokarska, M., A. N. Bunevich, D. Demontis, T. Sipko, K. Perzanowski, G. Baryshnikov, R. Kowalczyk, Y. Voitukhovskaya, J. M. Wojcik, B. Marczuk, I. Ruczynska, C. Pertoldi. 2015. Genes of the extinct Caucasian bison still roam the Bialowieza Forest and are the source of genetic discrepances between Polish and Belarusian populations of the European bison, Bison bonasus: Caucasian Genes in the Bialowieza Forest. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 114 (4): 752–763.
Tokarska, M., A. Kawalko, J. M. Wojcik, C. Pertoldi. 2009. Genetic variability in the European bison (Bison bonasus) population from Bialowieza forest over 50 years. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 97 (4): 801–809.
Tokarska, M., C. Pertoldi, R. Kowalczyk, K. Perzanowski. 2011. Genetic status of the European bison Bison bonasus after extinction in the wild and subsequent recovery: European bison conservation genetics. Mammal Review, 41 (2): 151–162.
Udina, I. G., S. S. Sokolova, T. P. Sipko, G. E. Sulimova. 1994. Comparative characteristics of DNA polymorphism for major histocompatibility complex loci DQB and DRB in representatives of the Bovidae family. Genetika, 30 (3): 356–360. (In Russian)
Wojcik, J. M., A. Kawalko, M. Tokarska, M. Jaarola, P. Vallenback, C. Pertoldi. 2009. Post-bottleneck mtDNA diversity in a free-living population of European bison: implications for conservation. Journal of Zoology, 277 (1): 81–87.


to main page of journal >>>

created: 28.08.2020
updated: 31.12.2020

Locations of visitors to this page