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Trends Genet. 2007 Apr;23(4):173-82. Epub 2007 Feb 27.

Primate comparative genomics: lemur biology and evolution.

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Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA.


Comparative genome sequencing projects are providing insight into aspects of genome biology that raise new questions and challenge existing paradigms. Placement in the phylogenetic tree can often be a major determinant of which organism to choose for study. Lemurs hold a key position at the base of the primate evolutionary tree and will be highly informative for the genomics community by offering comparisons of primate-specific characteristics and processes. Combining research in chromosome evolution, genome evolution and behavior with lemur comparative genomic sequencing will offer insights into many levels of primate evolution. We discuss the current state of lemur cytogenetic and phylogenetic analyses, and suggest how focusing more genomic efforts on lemurs will be beneficial to understanding human and primate evolution, as well as disease, and will contribute to conservation efforts.

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