The Gibbon Genome and Natural Genetic Engineering in Primate Evolution

September 23, 2014 9:41 PM

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Last week Nature published the draft genome of a Gibbon species (Nomascus leucogenys) in an important article, "Gibbon genome and the fast karyotype evolution of small apes." Gibbons are near relatives. They are intermediate between Old World Monkeys and the Great Apes, to which we belong. The four Gibbon genera "experienced a near-instantaneous radiation ~5 million years ago."

Gibbon genomes show high variability in chromosome number and structure, unlike their monkey, ape and human relatives. Gibbons have chromosome numbers that range from 38-52. The apes all have 48 chromosomes; we have 46 due to a chromosome fusion. Moreover, Gibbon chromosomes are massively rearranged...

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