Preliminary Results of Recent Bison Genetics Research

What can an ancient bison tooth washed ashore on the banks of the Little Missouri River teach us? Not a whole lot, until we compare its DNA to that of hundreds of other bison from across the continent, and to bison that lived hundreds of years in the past. The information we gain from these comparisons can help us better understand the impacts of human actions on their gene pool, past, present, and future.

In 2017, we analyzed 140 DNA samples and achieved some exciting preliminary results. So, how do scientists do it? And what have we learned?

 
an infographic explaining the process for analyzing and comparing bison DNA and illustrating preliminary study results

NPS / Hazel Galloway

 

Last updated: March 7, 2018

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