Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Human-Chimp Differences Uncovered With Analysis Of Rhesus Monkey Genome

Date:
April 13, 2007
Source:
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute
Summary:
An international consortium of researchers has published the genome sequence of the rhesus macaque monkey and aligned it with the chimpanzee and human genomes. The analysis reveals that the three primate species share about 93 percent of their DNA, yet have some significant differences among their genes.

Rhesus monkey.
Credit: NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

An international consortium of researchers has published the genome sequence of the rhesus macaque monkey and aligned it with the chimpanzee and human genomes. Published April 13 in a special section of the journal Science, the analysis reveals that the three primate species share about 93 percent of their DNA, yet have some significant differences among their genes.

In its paper, the Rhesus Macaque Genome Sequence and Analysis Consortium, supported in part by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), compared the genome sequences of rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) with that of human (Homo sapiens) and chimp (Pan troglodytes), the primate most closely related to humans. Four companion papers that relied on the rhesus sequence also appear in the same issue.

The rhesus genome is the second non-human primate, after the chimp, to have its genome sequenced and is the first of Old World monkeys to have its DNA deciphered.

"The sequencing of the rhesus macaque genome, combined with the availability of the chimp and human genomes, provides researchers with another powerful tool to advance our understanding of human biology in health and disease," said NHGRI Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. "As we build upon the foundation laid by the Human Genome Project, it has become clear that comparing our genome with the genomes of other organisms is crucial to identifying what makes the human genome unique."

The rhesus, because of its response to the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), is widely recognized as the best animal model for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The rhesus genome sequence will also serve to enhance essential research in neuroscience, behavioral biology, reproductive physiology, endocrinology and cardiovascular studies. In addition, the rhesus serves as a valuable model for studying other human infectious diseases and for vaccine research.

The sequencing of the rhesus genome was conducted at the Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center in Houston, the Genome Sequencing Center at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Md., which are part of the NHGRI-supported Large-Scale Sequencing Research Network. The DNA used in the sequencing was obtained from a female rhesus macaque at the Southwest National Primate Research Center (NPRC) in San Antonio, which is supported by the National Center for Research Resources, part of NIH.

Independent assemblies of the rhesus genome data were carried out at each of the three sequencing centers using different and complementary approaches and then combined into a single "melded assembly." In their analysis, scientists from 35 institutions compared this melded assembly to the reference sequence of the human genome, a newer unpublished draft sequence of the chimp genome, the sequence of more than a dozen other more distant species already in the public databases, the human HapMap, and the Human Gene Mutation Database that lists known human mutations that lead to genetic disease.

"This study of the rhesus genome is invaluable because it gives researchers a perspective to observe what has been added or deleted in each primate genome during evolution of rhesus, chimp, and the human from their common ancestors ," said Richard Gibbs, Ph.D., director of Baylor College of Medicine's Human Genome Sequencing Center in Houston and the project leader.

One of the most useful features of the rhesus genome is that it is less closely related to the human genome than to the chimp genome. This means that important features that have been conserved in primates over time can be more easily seen by comparing rhesus to human, than chimp to human.

By adding the rhesus genome to the primate comparison, researchers identified nearly 200 genes likely to be key players in determining differences among primate species. These include genes involved in hair formation, immune response, membrane proteins and sperm-egg fusion. Many of these genes are located in areas of the primate genome that have been subject to duplication, indicating that having an extra copy of a gene may enable it to evolve more rapidly and that small duplications are a key feature of primate evolution.

The analysis also revealed a few instances in which whole families of genes were radically different in the rhesus, containing more copies of certain genes than in the chimp or human. These gene families include important immune related genes, as well as genes with functions not yet fully known.

In addition to comparing the rhesus with the chimp and human genomes, the group also studied genetic variation in macaque populations, and developed a set of 'single nucleotide polymorphisms' or SNPs (single base DNA differences) that can be used for future analysis of inheritance of biomedically important traits in rhesus. The rhesus genomic DNA samples used for these studies were contributed by the California NPRC, Oregon NPRC, Southwest NPRC and Yerkes NPRC. This advance in macaque genetics will enhance the use of macaques for the study of genetic diseases of man.

The rhesus study is part of an ongoing program to analyze primate genomes. Other primate genomes underway include the marmoset, gibbon and gorilla. Researchers at the Baylor Center and the Washington University Genome Center completed the raw sequence for the orangutan and marmoset genomes early this year. Researchers plan to analyze the orangutan and marmoset genomes and compare them with the other primates over the summer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute. "Human-Chimp Differences Uncovered With Analysis Of Rhesus Monkey Genome." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070412141025.htm>.
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute. (2007, April 13). Human-Chimp Differences Uncovered With Analysis Of Rhesus Monkey Genome. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070412141025.htm
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute. "Human-Chimp Differences Uncovered With Analysis Of Rhesus Monkey Genome." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070412141025.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins