There are a couple of interesting articles on Orangutan genteics out. The first, published in Nature (and is open acess), announces the sequencing of the Orangutan genome. Results are kind of interesting. From Science Daily (I haven’t had a chance to read the Nature article yet):
However, in a surprising discovery, the researchers found that at least in some ways, the orangutan genome evolved more slowly than the genomes of humans and chimpanzees, which are about 99 percent similar.
“In terms of evolution, the orangutan genome is quite special among great apes in that it has been extraordinarily stable over the past 15 million years,” says senior author Richard K. Wilson, PhD, director of Washington University’s Genome Center, which led the project. “This compares with chimpanzees and humans, both of which have experienced large-scale structural rearrangements of their genome that may have accelerated their evolution.”
This stability seems to have something to do with the lack of Alu elements in the orang genome. Which brings us to this article in Genome Research. From the abstract:
We search the complete orangutan genome for regions where humans are more closely related to orangutans than to chimpanzees due to incomplete lineage sorting (ILS) in the ancestor of human and chimpanzees. The search uses our recently developed coalescent HMM framework. We find ILS present in ~1% of the genome, and that the ancestral species of human and chimpanzees never experienced a severe population bottleneck. The existence of ILS is validated with simulations, site pattern analysis, and analysis of rare genomic events. The existence of ILS allows us to disentangle the time of isolation of humans and orangutans (the speciation time) from the genetic divergence time, and we find speciation to be as recent as 9-13 mya (contingent on the calibration point). The analyses provide further support for a recent speciation of human and chimpanzee at ~4 mya and a diverse ancestor of human and chimpanzee with an effective population size of ~50,000 individuals. Posterior decoding infers ILS for each nucleotide in the genome and we use this to deduce patterns of selection in the ancestral species. We demonstrate the effect of background selection in the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees. In agreement with predictions from population genetics, ILS found to be reduced in exons and gene dense regions when we control for confounding factors such as GC content and recombination rate. Finally, we find the broad scale recombination rate to be conserved through the complete ape phylogeny.
Can some one send me the Genome Research article?