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Indels in the Evolution of the Human and Chimpanzee Genomes

  1. Anna Wetterbom,
  2. Lucia Cavelier,
  3. Tomas F Bergström

Published Online: 15 JUL 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020851



How to Cite

Wetterbom, A., Cavelier, L. and Bergström, T. F. 2008. Indels in the Evolution of the Human and Chimpanzee Genomes. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Uppsala University, Department of Genetics and Pathology, Rudbeck Laboratory, Uppsala, Sweden

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2008


Mutations in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) cause genomic divergence between species and provide a starting point for evolutionary change. There are several sources of sequence variation and here we will focus on insertions and deletions (indels). Such events occur frequently in genomic alignments of humans and chimpanzees and the indel divergence is estimated to 3–5%. In this article, we will discuss some causes behind indels and the possible impact of indels on the evolution of primate genomes. In addition, we will provide some examples of indels that may affect protein function as well as alternative splicing.


  • indels;
  • primate evolution;
  • chimpanzee;
  • genome;
  • divergence;
  • alternative splicing