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The genome landscape of indigenous African cattle

Kim, Jaemin; Hanotte, Olivier; Okeyo, Ally Mwai; Dessie, Tadelle; Bashir, Salim; Diallo, Boubacar; Agaba, Morris; Kim, Kwondo; Kwak, Woori; Sung, Samsun; Seo, Minseok; Jeong, Hyeonsoo; Taehyung, Kwon; Taye, Mengistie; Song, Ki Duk; Lim, Dajeong; Cho, Seoae; Lee, Hyun Jeong; Yoon, Duhak; Oh, Sung Jong; Kemp, Stephen; Lee, Hak Kyo; Kim, Heebal


Jaemin Kim

Director of Frozen Ark Project & Professor of Genetics & Conservation

Ally Mwai Okeyo

Tadelle Dessie

Salim Bashir

Boubacar Diallo

Morris Agaba

Kwondo Kim

Woori Kwak

Samsun Sung

Minseok Seo

Hyeonsoo Jeong

Kwon Taehyung

Mengistie Taye

Ki Duk Song

Dajeong Lim

Seoae Cho

Hyun Jeong Lee

Duhak Yoon

Sung Jong Oh

Stephen Kemp

Hak Kyo Lee

Heebal Kim


© 2017 The Author(s). Background: The history of African indigenous cattle and their adaptation to environmental and human selection pressure is at the root of their remarkable diversity. Characterization of this diversity is an essential step towards understanding the genomic basis of productivity and adaptation to survival under African farming systems. Results: We analyze patterns of African cattle genetic variation by sequencing 48 genomes from five indigenous populations and comparing them to the genomes of 53 commercial taurine breeds. We find the highest genetic diversity among African zebu and sanga cattle. Our search for genomic regions under selection reveals signatures of selection for environmental adaptive traits. In particular, we identify signatures of selection including genes and/or pathways controlling anemia and feeding behavior in the trypanotolerant N'Dama, coat color and horn development in Ankole, and heat tolerance and tick resistance across African cattle especially in zebu breeds. Conclusions: Our findings unravel at the genome-wide level, the unique adaptive diversity of African cattle while emphasizing the opportunities for sustainable improvement of livestock productivity on the continent.


Kim, J., Hanotte, O., Okeyo, A. M., Dessie, T., Bashir, S., Diallo, B., …Kim, H. (2017). The genome landscape of indigenous African cattle. Genome Biology, 18(1), Article 34.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 11, 2017
Online Publication Date Feb 20, 2017
Publication Date Feb 20, 2017
Deposit Date Mar 6, 2017
Publicly Available Date Mar 6, 2017
Journal Genome Biology
Print ISSN 1474-760X
Electronic ISSN 1474-760X
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 1
Article Number 34
Keywords African cattle, Genome, Adaptation, Diversity
Public URL
Publisher URL


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