Abstract # 6176 Poster # 76:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2015 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Cascade AJBCD) Poster Presentation


POLYMORPHIC MICROSATELLITES IN THE 5’ FLANKING REGION OF VASOPRESSIN RECEPTOR GENE 1A (AVPR1A) IMPACT SOCIABILITY IN CAPTIVE CHIMPANZEES (PAN TROGLODYTES)

R. E. Evans1, J. L. Russell2,3, S. Bogart3, S. J. Schapiro4, W. D. Hopkins2,3,4, J. P. Taglialatela1,2, L. A. Reamer4 and M. C. Mareno4
1Kennesaw State University, Department of Biology and Physics , 370 Paulding Ave. NW, MD1202, Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA, 2Division of Developmental and Cognitive Neuroscience, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Atlanta, GA, USA, 3Neuroscience Institute and Language Research Center, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA, 4Department of Veterinary Sciences, Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Bastrop, TX, USA
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     Chimpanzees are the only apes that are polymorphic for a deletion of an ~350bp microsatellite region (DupB) in the 5’ flanking region of AVPR1a. This results in two genotypes, one with a long allele (the ancestral genotype) and another with a shorter allele. Variations in the length of microsatellites 5’ of AVPR1a have been associated with the prevalence of certain social behaviors (pair-bonding, paternal care, degree of social interest) along with differential levels of expression of AVPR1a in the brains of voles. In this study we hypothesized that, chimpanzees lacking the DupB microsatellite will spend more time alone (in the absence of conspecific social partners) compared to chimpanzees that retain the ancestral “long allele” genotype. Approximately 332 hours of observational data (10 minute focal follows, 1-minute instantaneous sampling interval) were collected from 70 chimpanzees housed at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center (22 chimpanzees) and the Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research (48 chimpanzees). Chimpanzees were considered to be alone if no conspecifics were within ~1.5 meters of the focal subject. There was a significant difference in the percentage of time spent alone between the chimpanzees with long (49.1) or short alleles (57.5), F(1,66)=5.612, p=0.021. These results indicate that chimpanzees with a deletion of the DupB microsatellite 5’ of AVPR1a may be less social than chimpanzees that retain the ancestral genotype.