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Genome sequencing of bonobo: A comparative study on evolutionary relationship

Genome sequencing of bonobo: A comparative study on evolutionary relationship

In an article entitled, “The bonobo genome compared with the chimpanzee and human genomes”, published in June 28, 2012, issue of Nature 486:527-531, the lead author Kay Pru¨fer with forty other associates from twenty two research groups reported sequencing and analysis of the genome of the last great ape, the bonobo. The genome sequencing while providing insights into the evolutionary relationships between the great apes, namely, chimpanzee, orang-utan and gorilla may facilitate to comprehend the genetic basis of the traits that distinguish the apes. The genome was sequenced from Ulindi, a female bonobo from Leipzig Zoo. The comparison of the genome sequences of bonobo, chimpanzee, and human indicates that humans vary from both bonobo and chimpanzee by approximately 1.3%. Chimpanzees and bonobos are more closely associated differing by only 0.4%. [Summarized by Samsad Razzaque] Despite this fact, on an average the genomes of bonobos and chimpanzees are uniformly but distantly related to that of human. Furthermore, the bonobo genome shows that more than 3% of the human genome are more closely related to either bonobos or chimpanzees than these are to each other. This fact elucidates the population history and selective events that affected the ancestors of bonobos and chimpanzees. In addition, about 25% of human genes are closely related to one of the two apes than they are to each other. Further research will shed light whether these differential regions contribute in any way to the behavioral differences and similarities between humans, chimpanzees, and bonobos. Please click here to read more.

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