Insights into the genetic foundation of aggression in Papio and the evolution of two length-polymorphisms in the promoter regions of serotonin-related genes (5-HTTLPR and MAOALPR) in Papionini.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Aggressive behaviors are an integral part of competitive interactions. There is considerable variation in aggressiveness among individuals both within and among species. Aggressiveness is a quantitative trait that is highly heritable. In modern humans and macaques (Macaca spp.), variation in aggressiveness among individuals is associated with polymorphisms in the serotonergic (5-HT) neurotransmitter system. To further investigate the genetics underlying interspecific variation in aggressiveness, 123 wild individuals from five baboon species (Papio papio, P. hamadryas, P. anubis, P. cynocephalus, and P. ursinus) were screened for two polymorphisms in promoter regions of genes relevant for the 5-HT system (5-HTTLPR and MAOALPR). RESULTS:Surprisingly, despite considerable interspecific variation in aggressiveness, baboons are monomorphic in 5-HTTLPR, except for P. hamadryas, which carries one additional allele. Accordingly, this locus cannot be linked to behavioral variation among species. A comparison among 19 papionin species, including nine species of macaques, shows that the most common baboon allele is similar to the one described for Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus), probably representing the ancestral allele in this tribe. It should be noted that (almost) all baboons live in Africa, but within Macaca only M. sylvanus lives on this continent. Baboons are, however, highly polymorphic in the so-called 'warrior gene' MAOALPR, carrying three alleles. Due to considerable variation in allele frequencies among populations of the same species, this genotype cannot be invoked to explain variation in aggressiveness at the species level. CONCLUSIONS:This study provides another indication that 5-HTTLPR is not related to aggressiveness in primates per se, but may have been under differential selective pressures among taxa and potentially among populations in different geographic regions. The results on MAOALPR alleles in Papio indicate that variation in the metabolism of monoamine neurotransmitters and associated behaviors is more important among populations than among species. We, therefore, propose to compile behavioral data from additional populations of Papio to obtain further insight into the genetics underlying behavioral differences among primate species.
Project description:The retroviral restriction factor TRIMCyp, which is a fusion protein derived from the TRIM5 gene, blocks replication at a post-entry step. Among Old World primates, TRIMCyp has been found in four species of Asian macaques, but not in African monkeys. To further define the evolutionary origin of Old World TRIMCyp, we examined two species of baboons (genus Papio) and three additional macaque species, including M. sylvanus, which is the only macaque species found outside Asia, and represents the earliest diverging branch of the macaque lineage. None of four P. cynocephalus anubis, one P. hamadryas, and 36 M. sylvanus had either TRIMCyp mRNA or the genetic features required for its expression. M. sylvanus genomic sequences indicated that the lack of TRIMCyp in this species was not due to genetic homogeneity among specimens studied and revealed the existence of four TRIM5? alleles, all distinct from M. mulatta and Papio counterparts. Together with existing data on macaque evolution, our findings indicate that TRIMCyp evolved in the ancestors of Asian macaques approximately 5-6 million years before present (ybp), likely as a result of a retroviral threat. TRIMCyp then became fixed in the M. nemestrina lineage after it diverged from M. nigra, approximately 2 million ybp. The macaque lineage is unique among primates studied so far due to the presence and diversity of both TRIM5 and TRIMCyp restriction factors. Studies of these antiviral proteins may provide valuable information about natural antiviral mechanisms, and give further insight into the factors that shaped the evolution of macaque species.
Project description:Different protozoa and metazoa have been detected in great apes, monkeys and humans with possible interspecies exchanges. Some are either nonpathogenic or their detrimental effects on the host are not yet known. Others lead to serious diseases that can even be fatal. Their survey remains of great importance for public health and animal conservation. Fecal samples from gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) and humans living in same area in the Republic of Congo, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) from Senegal and one other from the Republic of Congo, Guinea baboons (Papio papio) from Senegal, hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas) from Djibouti and Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus) from Algeria, were collected. DNA was extracted and screened using specific qPCR assays for the presence of a large number of helminths and protozoa. Positive samples were then amplified in standard PCRs and sequenced when possible. Overall, infection rate was 36.5% in all non-human primates (NHPs) and 31.6% in humans. Great apes were more often infected (63.6%) than monkeys (7.3%). At least twelve parasite species, including ten nematodes and two protozoa were discovered in NHPs and five species, including four nematodes and a protozoan in humans. The prevalences of Giarida lamblia, Necator americanus, Enterobius vermicularis, Strongyloides stercoralis were similar between gorillas and human community co-habiting the same forest ecosystem in the Republic of Congo. In addition, human specific Mansonella perstans (5.1%) and other Mansonella spp. (5.1%) detected in these gorillas suggest a possible cross-species exchange. Low prevalence (2%) of Ascaris lumbricoides, Enterobius vermicularis, Strongyloides stercoralis were observed in chimpanzees, as well as a high prevalence of Abbreviata caucasica (57.1%), which should be considered carefully as this parasite can affect other NHPs, animals and humans. The Barbary macaques were less infected (7.2%) and Oesophagostomum muntiacum was the main parasite detected (5.8%). Finally, we report the presence of Pelodera sp. and an environmental Nematoda DNAs in chimpanzee feces, Nematoda sp. and Bodo sp. in gorillas, as well as DNA of uncharacterized Nematoda in apes and humans, but with a relatively lower prevalence in humans. Prevalence of extraintestinal parasites remains underestimated since feces are not the suitable sampling methods. Using non-invasive sampling (feces) we provide important information on helminths and protozoa that can infect African NHPs and human communities living around them. Public health and animal conservation authorities need to be aware of these infections, as parasites detected in African NHPs could affect both human and other animals' health.
Project description:Behavior is influenced by genes but can also shape the genetic structure of natural populations. Investigating this link is of great importance because behavioral processes can alter the genetic diversity on which selection acts. Gene flow is one of the main determinants of the genetic structure of a population and dispersal is the behavior that mediates gene flow. Baboons (genus Papio) are among the most intensely studied primate species and serve as a model system to investigate the evolution of social systems using a comparative approach. The general mammalian pattern of male dispersal and female philopatry has thus far been found in baboons, with the exception of hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas). As yet, the lack of data on Guinea baboons (Papio papio) creates a taxonomic gap in genus-wide comparative analyses. In our study we investigated the sex-biased dispersal pattern of Guinea baboons in comparison to hamadryas, olive, yellow, and chacma baboons using sequences of the maternally transmitted mitochondrial hypervariable region I. Analyzing whole-range georeferenced samples (N = 777), we found strong evidence for female-biased gene flow in Guinea baboons and confirmed this pattern for hamadryas baboons, as shown by a lack of genetic-geographic structuring. In addition, most genetic variation was found within and not among demes, in sharp contrast to the pattern observed in matrilocal primates including the other baboon taxa. Our results corroborate the notion that the Guinea baboons' social system shares some important features with that of hamadryas baboons, suggesting similar evolutionary forces have acted to distinguish them from all other baboons.
Project description:Non-human primates (NHPs) are known hosts for adenoviruses (AdVs), so there is the possibility of the zoonotic or cross-species transmission of AdVs. As with humans, AdV infections in animals can cause diseases that range from asymptomatic to fatal. The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence and diversity of AdVs in: (i) fecal samples of apes and monkeys from different African countries (Republic of Congo, Senegal, Djibouti and Algeria), (ii) stool of humans living near gorillas in the Republic of Congo, in order to explore the potential zoonotic risks. Samples were screened by real-time and standard PCRs, followed by the sequencing of the partial DNA polymerase gene in order to identify the AdV species. The prevalence was 3.3 folds higher in NHPs than in humans. More than 1/3 (35.8%) of the NHPs and 1/10 (10.5%) of the humans excreted AdVs in their feces. The positive rate was high in great apes (46%), with a maximum of 54.2% in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and 35.9% in gorillas (Gorilla gorilla), followed by monkeys (25.6%), with 27.5% in Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus) and 23.1% in baboons (seven Papio papio and six Papio hamadryas). No green monkeys (Chlorocebus sabaeus) were found to be positive for AdVs. The AdVs detected in NHPs were members of Human mastadenovirus E (HAdV-E), HAdV-C or HAdV-B, and those in the humans belonged to HAdV-C or HAdV-D. HAdV-C members were detected in both gorillas and humans, with evidence of zoonotic transmission since phylogenetic analysis revealed that gorilla AdVs belonging to HAdV-C were genetically identical to strains detected in humans who had been living around gorillas, and, inversely, a HAdV-C member HAdV type was detected in gorillas. This confirms the gorilla-to-human transmission of adenovirus. which has been reported previously. In addition, HAdV-E members, the most often detected here, are widely distributed among NHP species regardless of their origin, i.e., HAdV-E members seem to lack host specificity. Virus isolation was successful from a human sample and the strain of the Mbo024 genome, of 35 kb, that was identified as belonging to HAdV-D, exhibited close identity to HAdV-D members for all genes. This study provides information on the AdVs that infect African NHPs and the human populations living nearby, with an evident zoonotic transmission. It is likely that AdVs crossed the species barrier between different NHP species (especially HAdV-E members), between NHPs and humans (especially HAdV-C), but also between humans, NHPs and other animal species.
Project description:Genital Alphapapillomavirus (αPV) infections are one of the most common sexually transmitted human infections worldwide. Women infected with the highly oncogenic genital human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18 are at high risk for development of cervical cancer. Related oncogenic αPVs exist in rhesus and cynomolgus macaques. Here the authors identified 3 novel genital αPV types (PhPV1, PhPV2, PhPV3) by PCR in cervical samples from 6 of 15 (40%) wild-caught female Kenyan olive baboons (Papio hamadryas anubis). Eleven baboons had koilocytes in the cervix and vagina. Three baboons had dysplastic proliferative changes consistent with cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). In 2 baboons with PCR-confirmed PhPV1, 1 had moderate (CIN2, n = 1) and 1 had low-grade (CIN1, n = 1) dysplasia. In 2 baboons with PCR-confirmed PhPV2, 1 had low-grade (CIN1, n = 1) dysplasia and the other had only koilocytes. Two baboons with PCR-confirmed PhPV3 had koilocytes only. PhPV1 and PhPV2 were closely related to oncogenic macaque and human αPVs. These findings suggest that αPV-infected baboons may be useful animal models for the pathogenesis, treatment, and prophylaxis of genital αPV neoplasia. Additionally, this discovery suggests that genital αPVs with oncogenic potential may infect a wider spectrum of non-human primate species than previously thought.
Project description:Papio hamadryas papillomavirus (PhPV) 1, 2, and 3, are Alphapapillomaviruses that have been detected in Kenyan Olive baboons but the distribution is unknown. Therefore, cervical screening for PhPV1 was performed in baboons from various areas in Kenya using a nested polymerase chain reaction. The prevalence rate was 33%.
Project description:Baboons (genus Papio) are distributed over most of sub-Saharan Africa and in the southern portion of the Arabian Peninsula. Six distinct morphotypes, with clearly defined geographic distributions, are recognized (the olive, chacma, yellow, Guinea, Kinda, and hamadryas baboons). The evolutionary relationships among baboon forms have long been a controversial issue. Phylogenetic analyses based on mitochondrial DNA sequences revealed that the modern baboon morphotypes are mitochondrially paraphyletic or polyphyletic. The discordance between mitochondrial lineages and morphology is indicative of extensive introgressive hybridization between ancestral baboon populations. To gain insights into the evolutionary relationships among morphotypes and their demographic history, we performed an analysis of nuclear variation in baboons. We sequenced 13 noncoding, putatively neutral, nuclear regions, and scored the presence/absence of 18 polymorphic transposable elements in a sample of 45 baboons belonging to five of the six recognized baboon forms. We found that the chacma baboon is the sister-taxon to all other baboons and the yellow baboon is the sister-taxon to an unresolved northern clade containing the olive, Guinea, and hamadryas baboons. We estimated that the diversification of baboons occurred entirely in the Pleistocene, the earliest split dating ?1.5 million years ago, and that baboons have experienced relatively large and constant effective population sizes for most of their evolutionary history (?30,000 to 95,000 individuals).
Project description:The function of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is to liquefy the semen coagulum so that the released sperm can fuse with the ovum. Fifteen spliced variants of the PSA gene have been reported in humans, but little is known about alternative splicing in nonhuman primates. Positive selection has been reported in sex- and reproductive-related genes from sea urchins to Drosophila to humans; however, there are few studies of adaptive evolution of the PSA gene. Here, using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) product cloning and sequencing, we study PSA transcript variant heterogeneity in the prostates of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis), baboons (Papio hamadryas anubis), and African green monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops). Six PSA variants were identified in the chimpanzee prostate, but only two variants were found in cynomolgus monkeys, baboons, and African green monkeys. In the chimpanzee the full-length transcript is expressed at the same magnitude as the transcripts that retain intron 3. We have found previously unidentified splice variants of the PSA gene, some of which might be linked to disease conditions. Selection on the PSA gene was studied in 11 primate species by computational methods using the sequences reported here for African green monkey, cynomolgus monkey, baboon, and chimpanzee and other sequences available in public databases. A codon-based analysis (dN/dS) of the PSA gene identified potential adaptive evolution at five residue sites (Arg45, Lys70, Gln144, Pro189, and Thr203).
Project description:Male relationships in most species of mammals generally are characterized by intense intrasexual competition, with little bonding among unrelated individuals. In contrast, human societies are characterized by high levels of cooperation and strong bonds among both related and unrelated males. The emergence of cooperative male-male relationships has been linked to the multilevel structure of traditional human societies. Based on an analysis of the patterns of spatial and social interaction in combination with genetic relatedness data of wild Guinea baboons (Papio papio), we show that this species exhibits a multilevel social organization in which males maintain strong bonds and are highly tolerant of each other. Several "units" of males with their associated females form "parties," which team up as "gangs." Several gangs of the same "community" use the same home range. Males formed strong bonds predominantly within parties; however, these bonds were not correlated with genetic relatedness. Agonistic interactions were relatively rare and were restricted to a few dyads. Although the social organization of Guinea baboons resembles that of hamadryas baboons, we found stronger male-male affiliation and more elaborate greeting rituals among male Guinea baboons and less aggression toward females. Thus, the social relationships of male Guinea baboons differ markedly from those of other members of the genus, adding valuable comparative data to test hypotheses regarding social evolution. We suggest that this species constitutes an intriguing model to study the predictors and fitness benefits of male bonds, thus contributing to a better understanding of the evolution of this important facet of human social behavior.
Project description:Serotonin has been repeatedly indicated as a biological marker of behavior. In particular, the serotonin transporter gene, SLC6A4, has been the focus of a large body of research. Interestingly, both rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) and humans have independently evolved a number of shared polymorphisms for this gene, which is indicative of parallel evolution between the two species. However, little is known about the evolution of this gene, particularly within macaques. Although there are several hypotheses as to the adaptive values of various polymorphisms, few authors have gone beyond theoretical discussion. Here, we examined the genetic variation in SLC6A4 within and between several species of macaques and investigate whether selection has played a significant role in its evolutionary history. In addition, we assayed the promoter region polymorphism, 5-HTTLPR, which is known to play a significant role in regulating both serotonin turnover and behavior. In examining the distribution of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism, we identified significant differences between Indian and Chinese populations of Macaca mulatta; furthermore, we discovered its presence in Macaca cyclopis, which has not been described before. In regard to the evolutionary history of SLC6A4, we found little evidence for selection and conclude that SLC6A4 largely evolved through neutral processes, possibly due to its potential role in regulating behavioral plasticity. However, we also found very low levels of linkage between the coding regions and 5-HTTLPR. Because we limited evolutionary analyses to the coding regions, it is possible that the promoter region shows a distinct evolutionary history from SLC6A4.