Abstract # 8018 Event # 167:

Scheduled for Sunday, August 27, 2017 09:45 AM-10:00 AM: (Grand Ballroom) Oral Presentation


MICROSATELLITES IN THE NON-CODING REGION OF ARGININE VASOPRESSIN RECEPTOR 1A GENE (AVPR1A) IMPACT RECIPROCAL SOCIO-COMMUNICATIVE BEHAVIOR IN CAPTIVE CHIMPANZEES, PAN TROGLODYTES

J. P. Taglialatela1,2, S. A. Skiba1,2, R. Evans1 and W. D. Hopkins2,3
1Kennesaw State University, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, 370 Paulding Ave NW, MD #1202, Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA, 2Ape Cognition and Conservation Initiative, 3Georgia State University
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     Studying the similarities and differences in socio-communicative behavior between chimpanzees and bonobos is critical to increase our understanding of human evolution. Chimpanzees are polymorphic for a naturally occurring deletion of a microsatellite containing region 5’ of AVPR1a, while bonobos, like humans, are not polymorphic for this deletion. It has been suggested that this polymorphism might explain some of the behavioral differences observed between the two Pan species. We used identical methodology to collect socio-communicative behavioral data on captive chimpanzees and bonobos. Observational data on social proximity, grooming rates, and other socio-communicative behaviors were used to compare sociality between chimpanzees and bonobos and determine if chimpanzees without the deletion are more similar in their socio-communicative behavior to bonobos than those chimpanzees with the deletion. We have previously reported that captive chimpanzees with the polymorphic deletion 5’ of AVPR1a spend a greater percentage of time alone than those chimpanzees without the deletion, F(1,66)=5.612, p=0.021. Here, we compare a more complete set of socio-communicative behavioral measures from captive bonobos and chimpanzees to address the hypothesis that modifications in the non-coding region of the AVPR1a gene contribute to differential behavioral phenotypes observed both within and between the two extant Pan species.