Abstract # 47:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2011 02:55 PM-03:15 PM: Session 10 (Salon F (Sixth Floor)) Oral Presentation


M. H. Kohn and C. H. Shih
Rice University, Department Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Houston, Texas 77005, USA

The availability of the genome sequence of the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) and cDNA sequences for its sister species, the long-tailed-, crab eating-, or cynomologus macaque (M. fascicularis), now are enabling first comparative genome-scale analyses of these non-human primates. The pair makes for a particularly intriguing study subject because the two species form a hybrid zone in the wild and thus, may mature into a premier primate model for speciation studies. The genetic purity of captive macaques and the reliability of genetic and genomic data obtained from them merits investigation. Moreover, their analysis should provide insights into interesting aspects of molecular evolution along the primate lineage, such as the evolution of brain and testes expressed genes. Here we present evidence for hybridization between the rhesus and cynomologus macaques as deduced from population genetic analyses of wild and captive macaques, as well as deduced from genomic analyses of the M. mulatta genome and thousands of coding sequence reads for M. fascicularis. Results are consistent with nuclear gene flow, i.e. hybridization or more complex modes of speciation. We draw inferences regarding the genetics of speciation in these non-human primates and discuss our results in light of the use of macaque genome resources used in biomedical research. Finally, we discuss the applicability of our analyses to other primate species, including the chimpanzee and bonobo.