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Genetics. 2005 Jan;169(1):259-64.

Inferring the mode of speciation from genomic data: a study of the great apes.

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Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


The strictly allopatric model of speciation makes definable predictions on the pattern of divergence, one of which is the uniformity in the divergence time across genomic regions. Using 345 coding and 143 intergenic sequences from the African great apes, we were able to reject the null hypothesis that the divergence time in the coding sequences (CDSs) and intergenic sequences (IGSs) is the same between human and chimpanzee. The conclusion is further supported by the analysis of whole-genome sequences between these species. The difference suggests a prolonged period of genetic exchange during the formation of these two species. Because the analysis should be generally applicable, collecting DNA sequence data from many genomic regions between closely related species should help to settle the debate over the prevalence of the allopatric mode of speciation.

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