Novel SNP Discovery in African Buffalo, Syncerus caffer, using high-throughput Sequencing

Nikki le Roex, Harry Noyes, Andrew Brass, Daniel G Bradley, Stephen Kemp, Suzanne Kay, Paul D van Helden, Eileen G Hoal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The African buffalo, Syncerus caffer, is one of the most abundant and ecologically important species of megafauna in the savannah ecosystem. It is an important prey species, as well as a host for a vast array of nematodes, pathogens and infectious diseases, such as bovine tuberculosis and corridor disease. Large-scale SNP discovery in this species would greatly facilitate further research into the area of host genetics and disease susceptibility, as well as provide a wealth of sequence information for other conservation and genomics studies. We sequenced pools of Cape buffalo DNA from a total of 9 animals, on an ABI SOLiD4 sequencer. The resulting short reads were mapped to the UMD3.1 Bos taurus genome assembly using both BWA and Bowtie software packages. A mean depth of 2.7× coverage over the mapped regions was obtained. Btau4 gene annotation was added to all SNPs identified within gene regions. Bowtie and BWA identified a maximum of 2,222,665 and 276,847 SNPs within the buffalo respectively, depending on analysis method. A panel of 173 SNPs was validated by fluorescent genotyping in 87 individuals. 27 SNPs failed to amplify, and of the remaining 146 SNPs, 43-54% of the Bowtie SNPs and 57-58% of the BWA SNPs were confirmed as polymorphic. dN/dS ratios found no evidence of positive selection, and although there were genes that appeared to be under negative selection, these were more likely to be slowly evolving house-keeping genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e48792
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Animals
  • Buffaloes
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA

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