Most complete primate gene study reported

Jul 31, 2007

U.S. scientists have completed what's believed the most comprehensive assessment of gene copy number variations across human and non-human primate species.

Researchers from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and Stanford University said their study provides an overview of genes and gene families that have undergone major copy number expansions and contractions during approximately 60 million years of evolutionary time.

Primates first appeared on Earth about 90 million years ago, and today roughly 300 primate species exist. To survey the differences in gene copy number among those species, University of Colorado Professor James Sikela and colleagues used DNA microarrays containing more than 24,000 human genes to perform comparative genomic hybridization experiments.

They compared DNA samples from humans with those of nine other primate species: chimpanzee, gorilla, bonobo, orangutan, gibbon, macaque, baboon, marmoset, and lemur. That allowed them to identify specific genes and gene families that, through evolutionary time, have undergone lineage-specific copy number gains and losses.

The scientists said they discovered differences potentially associated with cognition, reproduction, immune function, and susceptibility to genetic disease.

Their findings are reported in the online edition of the journal Genome Research.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Genomes of malaria-carrying mosquitoes sequenced

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researcher uses genes to map evolution of species

Sep 12, 2014

Genes, whether from apes or the trees they live in, are the storytellers of the origins of a species, according to a Texas A&M University ecosystem science and management assistant professor in College Station.

Recommended for you

How can we avoid kelp beds turning into barren grounds?

38 minutes ago

Urchins are marine invertebrates that mould the biological richness of marine grounds. However, an excessive proliferation of urchins may also have severe ecological consequences on marine grounds as they ...

Genomes of malaria-carrying mosquitoes sequenced

16 hours ago

Nora Besansky, O'Hara Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame and a member of the University's Eck Institute for Global Health, has led an international team of scientists in sequencing ...

Bitter food but good medicine from cucumber genetics

16 hours ago

High-tech genomics and traditional Chinese medicine come together as researchers identify the genes responsible for the intense bitter taste of wild cucumbers. Taming this bitterness made cucumber, pumpkin ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.