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Recent genetic connectivity and clinal variation in chimpanzees.

Lester, JD, Vigilant, L, Gratton, P, McCarthy, MS, Barratt, CD, Dieguez, P, Agbor, A, Álvarez-Varona, P, Angedakin, S, Ayimisin, EA, Bailey, E, Bessone, M, Brazzola, G, Chancellor, R, Cohen, H, Danquah, E, Deschner, T, Egbe, VE, Eno-Nku, M, Goedmakers, A , Granjon, A-C, Head, J, Hedwig, D, Hernandez-Aguilar, RA, Jeffery, KJ, Jones, S, Junker, J, Kadam, P, Kaiser, M, Kalan, AK, Kehoe, L, Kienast, I, Langergraber, KE, Lapuente, J, Laudisoit, A, Lee, K, Marrocoli, S, Mihindou, V, Morgan, D, Muhanguzi, G, Neil, E, Nicholl, S, Orbell, C, Ormsby, LJ, Pacheco, L, Piel, A, Robbins, MM, Rundus, A, Sanz, C, Sciaky, L, Siaka, AM, Städele, V, Stewart, FA, Tagg, N, Ton, E, van Schijndel, J, Vyalengerera, MK, Wessling, EG, Willie, J, Wittig, RM, Yuh, YG, Yurkiw, K, Zuberbuehler, K, Boesch, C, Kühl, HS and Arandjelovic, M (2021) Recent genetic connectivity and clinal variation in chimpanzees. Communications Biology, 4 (1). ISSN 2399-3642

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Abstract

Much like humans, chimpanzees occupy diverse habitats and exhibit extensive behavioural variability. However, chimpanzees are recognized as a discontinuous species, with four subspecies separated by historical geographic barriers. Nevertheless, their range-wide degree of genetic connectivity remains poorly resolved, mainly due to sampling limitations. By analyzing a geographically comprehensive sample set amplified at microsatellite markers that inform recent population history, we found that isolation by distance explains most of the range-wide genetic structure of chimpanzees. Furthermore, we did not identify spatial discontinuities corresponding with the recognized subspecies, suggesting that some of the subspecies-delineating geographic barriers were recently permeable to gene flow. Substantial range-wide genetic connectivity is consistent with the hypothesis that behavioural flexibility is a salient driver of chimpanzee responses to changing environmental conditions. Finally, our observation of strong local differentiation associated with recent anthropogenic pressures portends future loss of critical genetic diversity if habitat fragmentation and population isolation continue unabated.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2021 14:20
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2021 14:20
DOI or Identification number: 10.1038/s42003-021-01806-x
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14616

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