Repetitive DNA in the mammalian genome is a valuable record and marker for evolution, providing information about the order and driving forces related to evolutionary events. The evolutionarily young 1.709 satellite IV DNA family is present near the centromeres of many chromosomes in the Bovidae. Here, we isolated 1.709 satellite DNA sequences from five Bovidae species belonging to Bovini: Bos taurus (BTA, cattle), Bos indicus (BIN, zebu), Bubalus bubalis (BBU, water buffalo) and Tragelaphini tribes: Taurotragus oryx (TOR, eland) and Tragelaphus euryceros (TEU, bongo). Its presence in both tribes shows the sequence predates the evolutionary separation of the two tribes (more than 10 million years ago), and primary sequence shows increasing divergence with evolutionary distance. Genome organization (Southern hybridization) and physical distribution (in situ hybridization) revealed differences in the molecular organization of these satellite DNA sequences. The data suggest that the sequences on the sex chromosomes and the autosomes evolve as relatively independent groups, with the repetitive sequences suggesting that Bovini autosomes and the Tragelaphini sex chromosomes represent the more primitive chromosome forms.

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