The Completed Bonobo Genome

Pan paniscus
Two Bonobos {Pan paniscus} vocalizing. Lola Ya Bonobo Sanctuary, Kinshasa, DR of Congo, 2007

The bonobo genome is sequenced. The letter reporting was recently published in Nature, and is available openly under the title, “The bonobo genome compared with the chimpanzee and human genomes.”  Kay Prüfer from the Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropologyis the lead author. There are some interesting preliminary comparisons such as:

  • Bonobos and chimps have 99.6% sequence similarity
  • Bonobos and humans have 98.7% sequence similarity
  • The split of bonobo and chimpanzee is confirmed to have approx. 1 million years ago, with no inbreeding occurring
  • 6% of the bonobo genome has evidence of incomplete lineage sorting(when an allele does not match the population history of a species)
    • This has lead to the observation that  ~1.6% of the bonobo genome is more similar to humans than chimpanzees
a, Schematic description of ILS states and percentage of bases assigned to each state. b, Effective population sizes and split times inferred from ILS and based on a molecular clock with a mutation rate of 10−9 yr−1. Myr, million years. We note that other estimates of mutation rates will correspondingly affect the estimates of the split times. c, Overlap between predicted ILS transposons and the closest HMM ILS assignments within 100 bp of a transposon insertion. d, Proportion of ILS in exons, introns and across the whole genome, counted within ~1-Mb segments of alignment (Supplementary Information, section 8). e, Proportion of ILS dependent on recombination rates. Errors, 95% confidence interval.

Prüfer, K., Munch, K., Hellmann, I., Akagi, K., Miller, J., Walenz, B., Koren, S., Sutton, G., Kodira, C., Winer, R., Knight, J., Mullikin, J., Meader, S., Ponting, C., Lunter, G., Higashino, S., Hobolth, A., Dutheil, J., Karakoç, E., Alkan, C., Sajjadian, S., Catacchio, C., Ventura, M., Marques-Bonet, T., Eichler, E., André, C., Atencia, R., Mugisha, L., Junhold, J., Patterson, N., Siebauer, M., Good, J., Fischer, A., Ptak, S., Lachmann, M., Symer, D., Mailund, T., Schierup, M., Andrés, A., Kelso, J., & Pääbo, S. (2012). The bonobo genome compared with the chimpanzee and human genomes Nature DOI: 10.1038/nature11128

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