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The Sequencing of the Rhesus Macaque Genome and its Comparison with the Genome Sequences of Human and Chimpanzee

  1. Richard A Gibbs1,
  2. Kim C Worley1,
  3. Hildegard Kehrer-Sawatzki2,
  4. David N Cooper3

Published Online: 15 JUL 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020744

eLS

eLS

How to Cite

Gibbs, R. A., Worley, K. C., Kehrer-Sawatzki, H. and Cooper, D. N. 2008. The Sequencing of the Rhesus Macaque Genome and its Comparison with the Genome Sequences of Human and Chimpanzee. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA

  2. 2

    University of Ulm, Institute of Human Genetics, Ulm, Germany

  3. 3

    Cardiff University, Institute of Medical Genetics, Cardiff, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2008

Abstract

The rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) diverged from the ancestors of Homo sapiens about 25 million years ago. The macaque's genetic and physiological similarity to human is the basis for it becoming the most widely used nonhuman primate in basic and applied biomedical research. The genome sequence of a female rhesus macaque of Indian origin has been determined and compared with the genome sequences of chimpanzee and human. Those studies have revealed the likely structure of ancestral primate genomes and provided evidence both for positive selection and for the lineage-specific expansion and contraction of gene families during primate evolution. The complete description of the macaque genome has greatly increased the utility of this animal model for biomedical research at the same time as improving our understanding of the basic biology of this highly successful species of Old World monkey.

Keywords:

  • rhesus macaque genome sequence;
  • genomic duplications;
  • expansion and contraction of gene families;
  • chromosomal rearrangements;
  • positive selection;
  • human disease orthologues