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Trends Genet. 2005 Jan;21(1):30-2.

A limited role for balancing selection.

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Genetics Division, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Harvard Medical School New Research Building, 77 Ave Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Balancing selection has been shown to act on several genes in short-term evolutionary contexts, but it is not known whether this force is responsible for maintaining a significant number of long-term polymorphisms. We aligned 7628 chimpanzee virtual transcripts and 5524 chimp ESTs to the 4x chimp draft genome assembly and identified polymorphisms in chimpanzee that also occurred in the human single nucleotide polymorphism database (dbSNP). Our analysis suggests that the incidence of ancestral polymorphism is low or absent and that balancing selection on the time-scale of chimpanzee-human divergence has not been a significant force in human evolution.

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