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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2001 Jan;18(1):14-25.

Catarrhine phylogeny: noncoding DNA evidence for a diphyletic origin of the mangabeys and for a human-chimpanzee clade.

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Department of Biology and Life Sciences, Norwich University, 158 Harmon Drive, Northfield, Vermont 05663, USA.


Maximum-parsimony and maximum-likelihood analyses of two of the serum albumin gene's intron sequences from 24 catarrhines (17 cercopithecid and 7 hominid) and 3 platyrrhines (an outgroup to the catarrhines) yielded results on catarrhine phylogeny that are congruent with those obtained with noncoding sequences of the gamma(1)-gamma(2) globin gene genomic region, using only those flanking and intergenic gamma sequences that in their history were not involved in gene conversion. A data set that combined in a tandem alignment these two sets of noncoding DNA orthologues from the two unlinked nuclear genomic loci yielded the following confirmatory results both on the course of cladistic branchings (the divisions in a cladistic classification of higher ranking taxa into subordinate taxa) and on the ages of the taxa (each taxon representing a clade). The cercopithecid branch of catarrhines, at approximately 14 Ma (mega annum) divided into Colobini (the leaf-eating Old World monkeys) and Cercopithecini (the cheek-pouched Old World monkeys). At approximately 10-9 Ma, Colobini divided into an African clade, Colobina, and an Asian clade, Presbytina; similarly at this time level, Cercopithecini divided into Cercopithecina (the guenons, patas, and green monkeys) and Papionina. At approximately 7 Ma, Papionina divided into Macaca, Cercocebus, and Papio. At approximately 5 Ma, Cercocebus divided subgenerically into C. (Cercocebus) for terrestrial mangabeys and C. (Mandrillus) for drills and mandrills, while at approximately 4 Ma Papio divided subgenerically into P. (Locophocebus) for arboreal mangabeys, P. (Theropithecus) for gelada baboons, and P. (Papio) for hamadryas baboons. In turn, the hominid branch of catarrhines at approximately 18 Ma divided into Hylobatini (gibbons and siamangs) and Hominini; at approximately 14 Ma, Hominini divided into Pongina (orangutans) and Hominina; at approximately 7 Ma, Hominina divided into Gorilla and Homo; and at approximately 6-5 Ma, Homo divided subgenerically into H. (Homo) for humans and H. (Pan) for common and bonobo chimpanzees. Rates of noncoding DNA evolution were assessed using a data set of noncoding gamma sequence orthologues that represented 18 catarrhines, 16 platyrrhines, 3 non-anthropoid primates (2 tarsiers and 1 strepsirhine), and rabbit (as outgroup to the primates). Results obtained with this data set revealed a faster rate of nucleotide substitutions in the early primate lineage to the anthropoid (platyrrhine/catarrhine) ancestor than from that ancestor to the present. Rates were slower in catarrhines than in platyrrhines, slower in the cheek-pouched than in the leaf-eating cercopithecids, and slower yet in the hominids. On relating these results to data on brain sizes and life spans, it was suggested that life-history strategies that favor intelligence and longer life spans also select for decreases in de novo mutation rates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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