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Divergence between the Human and Chimpanzee Genomes and its Impact on Protein and Transcriptome Evolution

  1. Hildegard Kehrer-Sawatzki1,
  2. David N Cooper2

Published Online: 30 APR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0006115.pub2

eLS

eLS

How to Cite

Kehrer-Sawatzki, H. and Cooper, D. N. 2008. Divergence between the Human and Chimpanzee Genomes and its Impact on Protein and Transcriptome Evolution. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany

  2. 2

    Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 APR 2008

Abstract

Comparison of the human and chimpanzee genome has revealed a broad spectrum of genetic differences. Although the nucleotide sequence divergence is low (approximately 1%) within those regions that can be aligned, lineage-specific submicroscopic inversions, insertions and deletions have markedly increased the genetic divergence. The lineage-specific expansion of gene families, instances of gene inactivation and loss, the accelerated evolution of genes and changes in gene expression may all have been involved in the evolutionary emergence of human-specific traits. However, it is difficult to distinguish the neutral from the functionally meaningful changes that have occurred in both primate genomes since divergence from their common ancestor.

Keywords:

  • human genome evolution;
  • chimpanzee versus human genome comparisons;
  • nucleotide divergence;
  • insertions;
  • duplications;
  • deletions