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  Topic: Genetic variation, Chimps vary more than humans.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Stephen Elliott

Posts: 1776
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2007,12:10   

Hello folks,
I have recently got into a discussion and would apreciate some assistance.Pretty sure that I read somewhere that there is more genetic variation between neighbouring chimpanzee populations than the entire human race.

Have I got that wrong? If not, does anyone have a reliable reference?

Henry J

Posts: 5760
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2007,12:30   

That fits with something I've read somewhere, than humans had a genetic bottleneck on the order of a hundred thousand or so years ago. If chimpanzees didn't suffer a similar population crash, it would explain what you read.



Posts: 1201
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 21 2007,03:28   

Yes, effective population sizes have been far higher in apes than in our lineage. That alone could explain why we are less polymorphic.

See this study :
Nature Genetics  27, 155 - 156 (2001)
Great ape DNA sequences reveal a reduced diversity and an expansion in humans

The extent of DNA sequence variation of chimpanzees is several-fold greater than that of humans1. It is unclear, however, if humans or chimpanzees are exceptional among primates in having low and high amounts of DNA sequence diversity, respectively. To address this, we have determined approximately 10,000 bp of noncoding DNA sequences at Xq13.3 (which has been extensively studied in both humans and chimpanzees1, 2) from 10 western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and 1 mountain gorilla (Gorilla gorilla beringei; that is, from 2 of the 3 currently recognized gorilla subspecies3), as well as 8 Bornean (Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus) and 6 Sumatran (Pongo pygmaeus abelii) orang-utans, representing both currently recognized orang-utan subspecies4. We show that humans differ from the great apes in having a low level of genetic variation and a signal of population expansion.

  2 replies since Oct. 20 2007,12:10 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  


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