Since the middle Miocene—an epoch of abundance and diversity for apes throughout Eurasia and Africa—the prevailing pattern of ape evolution has been one of fragmentation and extinction The present-day distribution of non-human great apes, existing only as endangered and subdivided populations in equatorial forest refugia 43 , is a legacy of that process.
Even humans, now spread around the world and occupying habitats previously inaccessible to any primate, bear the genetic legacy of past population crises. All other branches of the genus Homo have passed into extinction. It is notable that species within at least three of these genera continued to exchange genetic material long after separation 4 , 49 , a disposition that may have aided their survival in the face of diminishing numbers. As well as teaching us about human evolution, the study of the great apes connects us to a time when our existence was more tenuous, and in doing so, highlights the importance of protecting and conserving these remarkable species.
We constructed a hybrid de novo assembly combining 5. Improvements in long-range structure were then guided by human homology, placing contigs into scaffolds wherever read pairs confirmed collinearity between gorilla and human. Base-pair contiguity was improved by local reassembly within each scaffold, merging or extending contigs using Illumina read pairs. Finally we used additional Kamilah bacterial artificial chromosome BAC and fosmid end pair capillary sequences to provide longer range scaffolding. Base errors were corrected by mapping all Illumina reads back to the assembly and rectifying apparent homozygous variants, while recording the location of heterozygous sites.
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Leus of the Center for Research and Conservation of the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp for sample material from Mukisi, and the Marmoset Genome Analysis Consortium for permission to use the unpublished assembly of the marmoset genome. Manuscript main text: A. Project coordination: A. Project initiation: J.
Insights into hominid evolution from the gorilla genome sequence
Library preparation and sequencing: I. Assembly: A. Fosmid finishing: P. Assembly quality: A. Meader, G. Annotation: Y. Heger, S. Primate multiple alignments: J. Great ape speciation and ILS: J. Sequence loss and gain: A. Protein evolution: G. Human disease allele analysis: Y. Transcriptome analysis: T. ChIP-seq experiment and analysis: P. Additional gorilla samples: B. Gorilla species diversity and divergence: A.
Gorilla species functional differences: Y. Segmental duplication analysis: T. Correspondence to Richard Durbin. Please note some of the tables are in separate files - see contents list for details.
Gorillas in popular culture
This file contains tables ST3. To obtain permission to re-use content from this article visit RightsLink. Nature Reviews Genetics BMC Genomics Genome Biology Mobile DNA By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate. Article metrics. Advanced search. Skip to main content. Subjects Genomics Palaeontology. Main Humans share many elements of their anatomy and physiology with both gorillas and chimpanzees, and our similarity to these species was emphasized by Darwin and Huxley in the first evolutionary accounts of human origins 1.
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