Mitochondrial sequences show diverse evolutionary histories of African hominoids.
ABSTRACT: Phylogenetic trees for the four extant species of African hominoids are presented, based on mtDNA control region-1 sequences from 1,158 unique haplotypes. We include 83 new haplotypes of western chimpanzees and bonobos. Phylogenetic analysis of this enlarged database, which takes intraspecific geographic variability into account, reveals different patterns of evolution among species and great heterogeneity in species-level variation. Several chimpanzee and bonobo clades (and even single social groups) have retained substantially more mitochondrial variation than is seen in the entire human species. Among the 811 human haplotypes, those that branch off early are predominantly but not exclusively African. Neighbor joining trees provide strong evidence that eastern chimpanzee and human clades have experienced reduced effective population sizes, the latter apparently since the Homo sapiens-neanderthalensis split. Application of topiary pruning resolves ambiguities in the phylogenetic tree that are attributable to homoplasies in the data set. The diverse patterns of mtDNA sequence variation seen in today's hominoid taxa probably reflect historical differences in ecological plasticity, female-biased dispersal, range fragmentation over differing periods of time, and competition among social groups. These results are relevant to the origin of zoonotic diseases, including HIV-1, and call into question some aspects of the current taxonomic treatment and conservation management of gorillas and chimpanzees.
Project description:The distribution of genetic diversity in great ape species is likely to have been affected by patterns of dispersal and mating. This has previously been investigated by sequencing autosomal and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), but large-scale sequence analysis of the male-specific region of the Y Chromosome (MSY) has not yet been undertaken. Here, we use the human MSY reference sequence as a basis for sequence capture and read mapping in 19 great ape males, combining the data with sequences extracted from the published whole genomes of 24 additional males to yield a total sample of 19 chimpanzees, four bonobos, 14 gorillas, and six orangutans, in which interpretable MSY sequence ranges from 2.61 to 3.80 Mb. This analysis reveals thousands of novel MSY variants and defines unbiased phylogenies. We compare these with mtDNA-based trees in the same individuals, estimating time-to-most-recent common ancestor (TMRCA) for key nodes in both cases. The two loci show high topological concordance and are consistent with accepted (sub)species definitions, but time depths differ enormously between loci and (sub)species, likely reflecting different dispersal and mating patterns. Gorillas and chimpanzees/bonobos present generally low and high MSY diversity, respectively, reflecting polygyny versus multimale-multifemale mating. However, particularly marked differences exist among chimpanzee subspecies: The western chimpanzee MSY phylogeny has a TMRCA of only 13.2 (10.8-15.8) thousand years, but that for central chimpanzees exceeds 1 million years. Cross-species comparison within a single MSY phylogeny emphasizes the low human diversity, and reveals species-specific branch length variation that may reflect differences in long-term generation times.
Project description:Landscape patterns and chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) densities in Kibale National Park show important variation among communities that are geographically close to one another (from 1.5 to 5.1 chimpanzees/km2). Anthropogenic activities inside the park (past logging activities, current encroachment) and outside its limits (food and cash crops) may impact the amount and distribution of food resources for chimpanzees (frugivorous species) and their spatial distribution within the park. Spatial and temporal patterns of fruit availability were recorded over 18 months at Sebitoli (a site of intermediate chimpanzee density and higher anthropic pressure) with the aim of understanding the factors explaining chimpanzee density there, in comparison to results from two other sites, also in Kibale: Kanyawara (low chimpanzee density) and Ngogo (high density, and furthest from Sebitoli). Because of the post-logging regenerating status of the forest in Sebitoli and Kanyawara, smaller basal area (BA) of fruiting trees most widely consumed by the chimpanzees in Kanyawara and Sebitoli was expected compared to Ngogo (not logged commercially). Due to the distance between sites, spatial and temporal fruit abundance in Sebitoli was expected to be more similar to Kanyawara than to Ngogo. While species functional classes consumed by Sebitoli chimpanzees (foods eaten during periods of high or low fruit abundance) differ from the two other sites, Sebitoli is very similar to Kanyawara in terms of land-cover and consumed species. Among feeding trees, Ficus species are particularly important resources for chimpanzees at Sebitoli, where their basal area is higher than at Kanywara or Ngogo. Ficus species provided a relatively consistent supply of food for chimpanzees throughout the year, and we suggest that this could help to explain the unusually high density of chimpanzees in such a disturbed site.
Project description:Some pygmy chimpanzees (also called Bonobos) give much simpler patterns of hybridization on Southern blotting with killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) cDNA probes than do either humans or common chimpanzees. Characterization of KIRs from pygmy chimpanzees having simple and complex banding patterns identified nine different KIRs, representing seven genes. Five of these genes have orthologs in the common chimpanzee, and three of them (KIRCI, KIR2DL4, and KIR2DL5) also have human orthologs. The remaining two genes are KIR3D paralogous to the human and common chimpanzee major histocompatibility complex A- and/or -B-specific KIRs. Within a pygmy chimpanzee family, KIR haplotypes were defined. Simple patterns on Southern blot were due to inheritance of "short" KIR haplotypes containing only three KIR genes, KIRCI, KIR2DL4, and KIR3D, each of which represents one of the three major KIR lineages. These three genes in pygmy chimpanzees or their corresponding genes in humans and common chimpanzees form the conserved "framework" common to all KIR haplotypes in these species and upon which haplotypic diversity is built. The fecundity and health of individual pygmy chimpanzees who are homozygotes for short KIR haplotypes attest to the viability of short KIR haplotypes, indicating that they can provide minimal, essential KIRs for the natural killer and T cells of the hominoid immune system.
Project description:Plasmodium falciparum, the major cause of malaria morbidity and mortality worldwide, is only distantly related to other human malaria parasites and has thus been placed in a separate subgenus, termed Laverania Parasites morphologically similar to P. falciparum have been identified in African apes, but only one other Laverania species, Plasmodium reichenowi from chimpanzees, has been formally described. Although recent studies have pointed to the existence of additional Laverania species, their precise number and host associations remain uncertain, primarily because of limited sampling and a paucity of parasite sequences other than from mitochondrial DNA. To address this, we used limiting dilution polymerase chain reaction to amplify additional parasite sequences from a large number of chimpanzee and gorilla blood and fecal samples collected at two sanctuaries and 30 field sites across equatorial Africa. Phylogenetic analyses of more than 2,000 new sequences derived from the mitochondrial, nuclear, and apicoplast genomes revealed six divergent and well-supported clades within the Laverania parasite group. Although two of these clades exhibited deep subdivisions in phylogenies estimated from organelle gene sequences, these sublineages were geographically defined and not present in trees from four unlinked nuclear loci. This greatly expanded sequence data set thus confirms six, and not seven or more, ape Laverania species, of which P. reichenowi, Plasmodium gaboni, and Plasmodium billcollinsi only infect chimpanzees, whereas Plasmodium praefalciparum, Plasmodium adleri, and Pladmodium blacklocki only infect gorillas. The new sequence data also confirm the P. praefalciparum origin of human P. falciparum.
Project description:During the demographic history of the Pan clade, there has been gene-flow between species, likely >200,000?years ago. Bonobo haplotypes in three subspecies of chimpanzee have been identified to be segregating in modern-day chimpanzee populations, suggesting that these haplotypes, with increased differentiation, may be a target of natural selection. Here, we investigate signatures of adaptive introgression within the bonobo-like haplotypes in chimpanzees using site frequency spectrum-based tests. We find evidence for subspecies-specific adaptations in introgressed regions involved with male reproduction in central chimpanzees, the immune system in eastern chimpanzees, female reproduction and the nervous system in Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees. Furthermore, our results indicate signatures of balancing selection in some of the putatively introgressed regions. This might be the product of long-term balancing selection resulting in a similar genomic signature as introgression, or possibly balancing selection acting on alleles reintroduced through gene flow.
Project description:A large body of theoretical work suggests that analyses of variation at the maternally inherited mitochondrial (mt)DNA and the paternally inherited non-recombining portion of the Y chromosome (NRY) are a potentially powerful way to reveal the differing migratory histories of men and women across human societies. However, the few empirical studies comparing mtDNA and NRY variation and known patterns of sex-biased migration have produced conflicting results. Here we review some methodological reasons for these inconsistencies, and take them into account to provide an unbiased characterization of mtDNA and NRY variation in chimpanzees, one of the few mammalian taxa where males routinely remain in and females typically disperse from their natal groups. We show that patterns of mtDNA and NRY variation are more strongly contrasting in patrilocal chimpanzees compared with patrilocal human societies. The chimpanzee data we present here thus provide a valuable comparative benchmark of the patterns of mtDNA and NRY variation to be expected in a society with extremely female-biased dispersal.
Project description:Mitochondrial DNA sequences encoding the cytochrome oxidase subunit II gene have been determined for five primate species, siamang (Hylobates syndactylus), lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla), pygmy chimpanzee (Pan paniscus), crab-eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis), and green monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops), and compared with published sequences of other primate and nonprimate species. Comparisons of cytochrome oxidase subunit II gene sequences provide clear-cut evidence from the mitochondrial genome for the separation of the African ape trichotomy into two evolutionary lineages, one leading to gorillas and the other to humans and chimpanzees. Several different tree-building methods support this same phylogenetic tree topology. The comparisons also yield trees in which a substantial length separates the divergence point of gorillas from that of humans and chimpanzees, suggesting that the lineage most immediately ancestral to humans and chimpanzees may have been in existence for a relatively long time.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Aedes aegypti is the primary global vector to humans of yellow fever and dengue flaviviruses. Over the past 50 years, many population genetic studies have documented large genetic differences among global populations of this species. These studies initially used morphological polymorphisms, followed later by allozymes, and most recently various molecular genetic markers including microsatellites and mitochondrial markers. In particular, since 2000, fourteen publications and four unpublished datasets have used sequence data from the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4 mitochondrial gene to compare Ae. aegypti collections and collectively 95 unique mtDNA haplotypes have been found. Phylogenetic analyses in these many studies consistently resolved two clades but no comprehensive study of mtDNA haplotypes have been made in Africa, the continent in which the species originated.<h4>Methods and findings</h4>ND4 haplotypes were sequenced in 426 Ae. aegypti s.l. from Senegal, West Africa and Kenya, East Africa. In Senegal 15 and in Kenya 7 new haplotypes were discovered. When added to the 95 published haplotypes and including 6 African Aedes species as outgroups, phylogenetic analyses showed that all but one Senegal haplotype occurred in a basal clade while most East African haplotypes occurred in a second clade arising from the basal clade. Globally distributed haplotypes occurred in both clades demonstrating that populations outside Africa consist of mixtures of mosquitoes from both clades.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Populations of Ae. aegypti outside Africa consist of mosquitoes arising from one of two ancestral clades. One clade is basal and primarily associated with West Africa while the second arises from the first and contains primarily mosquitoes from East Africa.
Project description:Ecological niche models (ENMs) are often used to predict species distribution patterns from datasets that describe abiotic and biotic factors at coarse spatial scales. Ground-truthing ENMs provide important information about how these factors relate to species-specific requirements at a scale that is biologically relevant for the species. Chimpanzees are territorial and have a predominantly frugivorous diet. The spatial and temporal variation in fruit availability for different chimpanzee populations is thus crucial, but rarely depicted in ENMs. The genetic and geographic distinction within Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti) populations represents a unique opportunity to understand fine scale species-relevant ecological variation in relation to ENMs. In Cameroon, P. t. ellioti is composed of two genetically distinct populations that occupy different niches: rainforests in western Cameroon and forest-woodland-savanna mosaic (ecotone) in central Cameroon. We investigated habitat variation at three representative sites using chimpanzee-relevant environmental variables, including fruit availability, to assess how these variables distinguish these niches from one another. Contrary to the assumption of most ENM studies that intact forest is essential for the survival of chimpanzees, we hypothesized that the ecotone and human-modified habitats in Cameroon have sufficient resources to sustain large chimpanzee populations. Rainfall, and the diversity, density, and size of trees were higher at the rainforest. The ecotone had a higher density of terrestrial herbs and lianas. Fruit availability was higher at Ganga (ecotone) than at Bekob and Njuma. Seasonal variation in fruit availability was highest at Ganga, and periods of fruit scarcity were longer than at the rainforest sites. Introduced and secondary forest species linked with anthropogenic modification were common at Bekob, which reduced seasonality in fruit availability. Our findings highlight the value of incorporating fine scale species-relevant ecological data to create more realistic models, which have implications for local conservation planning efforts.
Project description:Here, we report the sequencing and analysis of eight complete mitochondrial genomes of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) from each of the three established subspecies (P. t. troglodytes, P. t. schweinfurthii and P. t. verus) and the proposed fourth subspecies (P. t. ellioti). Our population genetic analyses are consistent with neutral patterns of evolution that have been shaped by demography. The high levels of mtDNA diversity in western chimpanzees are unlike those seen at nuclear loci, which may reflect a demographic history of greater female to male effective population sizes possibly owing to the characteristics of the founding population. By using relaxed-clock methods, we have inferred a timetree of chimpanzee species and subspecies. The absolute divergence times vary based on the methods and calibration used, but relative divergence times show extensive uniformity. Overall, mtDNA produces consistently older times than those known from nuclear markers, a discrepancy that is reduced significantly by explicitly accounting for chimpanzee population structures in time estimation. Assuming the human-chimpanzee split to be between 7 and 5 Ma, chimpanzee time estimates are 2.1-1.5, 1.1-0.76 and 0.25-0.18 Ma for the chimpanzee/bonobo, western/(eastern + central) and eastern/central chimpanzee divergences, respectively.