Genetic Archaeology
Recent News |  Archives |  Tags |  About |  Newsletter |  Submit News |  Links |  Subscribe to GeneticArchaeology.com RSS Fee Subscribe


More Articles
New blood: Tracing the beginnings of hematopoietic stem cellsNew blood: Tracing the beginnings of hematopoietic stem cells

Mysteries of space dust revealedMysteries of space dust revealed

New study takes the shine off magpie folkloreNew study takes the shine off magpie folklore

A shift in the code: New method reveals hidden genetic landscapeA shift in the code: New method reveals hidden genetic landscape

Highs and lows: Height changes in the ice sheets mappedHighs and lows: Height changes in the ice sheets mapped

Despite academic achievement, pay gaps likely continue between the racesDespite academic achievement, pay gaps likely continue between the races

Bats bolster brain hypothesis, maybe technology, tooBats bolster brain hypothesis, maybe technology, too

New discovery: Microbes create dripstonesNew discovery: Microbes create dripstones

Common household chemicals decrease reproduction in mice, study findsCommon household chemicals decrease reproduction in mice, study finds

Program earns kudos for improving grades, retaining studentsProgram earns kudos for improving grades, retaining students

Scientists enhance synthesis of chromium dioxide (100) epitaxial thin film growthScientists enhance synthesis of chromium dioxide (100) epitaxial thin film growth

Has the puzzle of rapid climate change in the last ice age been solved?Has the puzzle of rapid climate change in the last ice age been solved?

Lithium-based neutron detector named among Top 100 technologies of the yearLithium-based neutron detector named among Top 100 technologies of the year

A self-organizing thousand-robot swarmA self-organizing thousand-robot swarm

Genetically engineered fruit flies could save cropsGenetically engineered fruit flies could save crops

Eco-friendly 'pre-fab nanoparticles' could revolutionize nano manufacturingEco-friendly 'pre-fab nanoparticles' could revolutionize nano manufacturing

Diamonds are a quantum computer's best friendDiamonds are a quantum computer's best friend

Crash-testing rivetsCrash-testing rivets

Scientists discover the miracle of how geckos move, cling to ceilingsScientists discover the miracle of how geckos move, cling to ceilings

Photo editing algorithm changes weather, seasons automaticallyPhoto editing algorithm changes weather, seasons automatically

Geography matters: Model predicts how local 'shocks' influence U.S. economyGeography matters: Model predicts how local 'shocks' influence U.S. economy

Shrinking dinosaurs evolved into flying birdsShrinking dinosaurs evolved into flying birds

Running for life: How speed restricts evolutionary change of the vertebral columnRunning for life: How speed restricts evolutionary change of the vertebral column

Protein's 'hands' enable bacteria to establish infection, research findsProtein's 'hands' enable bacteria to establish infection, research finds

A healthy lifestyle adds years to lifeA healthy lifestyle adds years to life

Do probiotics help kids with stomach bugs?Do probiotics help kids with stomach bugs?

Strict diet suspends development, doubles lifespan of wormsStrict diet suspends development, doubles lifespan of worms

Identified for the first time what kind of explosive has been used after the detonationIdentified for the first time what kind of explosive has been used after the detonation

Copied from nature: Detecting software errors via genetic algorithmsCopied from nature: Detecting software errors via genetic algorithms

Africa's rarest monkey had an intriguing sexual past, DNA study confirms (11/13/2009)

Tags:
monkeys, baboons, kipunji, udzungwas, reproduction, interbreeding
A shy tree-dwelling monkey with a black face and long brown fur, the kipunji (key-POON-jee) was unknown to science until 2003, when it was discovered in a remote region of southern Tanzania. -  Photo courtesy of Tim Davenport. For additional images please contact Davenport directly.
A shy tree-dwelling monkey with a black face and long brown fur, the kipunji (key-POON-jee) was unknown to science until 2003, when it was discovered in a remote region of southern Tanzania. - Photo courtesy of Tim Davenport. For additional images please contact Davenport directly.

The most extensive DNA study to-date of Africa's rarest monkey reveals that the species had an intriguing sexual past. Of the last two remaining populations of the recently discovered kipunji, one population shows evidence of past mating with baboons while the other does not, says a new study in Biology Letters. The results may help to set conservation priorities for this critically endangered species, researchers say.

A shy tree-dwelling monkey with a black face and long brown fur, the kipunji (key-POON-jee) was unknown to science until 2003, when it was discovered in a remote region of southern Tanzania. Until recently, little was known about its biology except what scientists could glean from observations and a single specimen found in a farmer's trap. The first analyses revealed that kipunji represented an entirely new genus of primate, Rungwecebus. Now, thanks to additional DNA samples collected from dung and tissue - the most extensive genetic data to date - scientists have a more complete picture of the genetic makeup of this monkey.

The kipunji is found in two tiny forest fragments totaling less than 7 square miles, researchers explained. Of the last two remaining populations, one is in Tanzania's Southern Highlands, and the other lies 250 miles away in a mountain range called the Udzungwas. Armed with six dung samples from the Udzungwas - the first ever genetic material from this population - and two additional tissue samples from the Southern Highlands, the researchers were able to reconstruct the genetic relationships between these populations and kipunji's closest kin.

Confirming other reports, the Southern Highlands population contained bits of DNA that are similar to baboons. This suggests that the two species interbred at some point after they diverged, researchers explained. "Way back in time in the evolutionary history of this population there was at least one event where there was some cross-fertilization with a baboon," said study author Tim Davenport of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

In contrast, the researchers discovered that the Udzungwa population showed no traces of baboon DNA. "We thought the DNA from the second population would match the first one, but instead we got something quite different," said first author Trina Roberts of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in Durham, NC.

Mating across the species barrier isn't unheard of in the animal kingdom. "We usually think of species' genomes as being contained and not sharing with each other, but sometimes one species picks up genetic material from another through interbreeding," said Roberts. "It's as if the genomes are a little leaky."

The findings help to settle a debate over kipunji's status as a new genus of primate. "They're still separate taxa - they're not baboons, they're still kipunji," said co-author Bill Stanley of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. "But there's a little bit of baboon DNA that shows up when you analyze their DNA."

Their results may also help to set conservation priorities for this critically endangered monkey. Much of the kipunji's remaining habitat is threatened by deforestation for farming and other uses, the researchers explained. "There's a lot of pressure on the forest for natural resources - food, medicine, fuel, and building materials," said Davenport. "Part of the challenge we have is making sure the forest isn't degraded any further."

Census data indicate there are just over 1,100 individuals left in the wild, said Davenport. Of these, roughly 1,000 live in the Southern Highlands, and 100 remain in the Udzungwas. Both populations may require habitat protection if we are to preserve the genetic diversity of the species, researchers said.

"Udzungwa is a tiny population," said Roberts. "What we've shown is that it is substantially different from the first population. We may not be able to resurrect it by simply transplanting kipunji from one population to the other," Roberts said.

"If we were to lose it we might in fact lose the true kipunji genome forever," she added.

"Does the baboon DNA help to explain why there are differences in number between the two populations, or is just a remnant of evolutionary history?" asked Davenport. "It's too early to say, but it's something we're looking at."

"We have two separate populations that are slightly genetically different, so until we learn more it is extremely important that we maintain both of them," Davenport said. "It might be that those genetic differences have an impact on their survival in the future."

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent)

Post Comments:

Search

New Articles
500 million year reset for the immune system500 million year reset for the immune system

8,000-year-old mutation key to human life at high altitudes8,000-year-old mutation key to human life at high altitudes

Our ancestor's 'leaky' membrane answers big questions in biologyOur ancestor's 'leaky' membrane answers big questions in biology

Researcher sees survival story in Antarctic fly's small genomeResearcher sees survival story in Antarctic fly's small genome

Study traces evolutionary origins of migration in New World birds

Study advances 'DNA revolution,' tells butterflies' evolutionary historyStudy advances 'DNA revolution,' tells butterflies' evolutionary history

Analysis of the iceman mummy suggests genetic predisposition to atherosclerosis

Prehistoric dairy farming at the extremes

Mixed genes mix up the migrations of hybrid birdsMixed genes mix up the migrations of hybrid birds

Ancient genetic material from caries bacterium obtained for the first timeAncient genetic material from caries bacterium obtained for the first time

Marmoset sequence sheds new light on primate biology and evolutionMarmoset sequence sheds new light on primate biology and evolution

Untangling spider's webs

Oetzi's 'non-human' DNA

Genome-wide analysis reveals genetic similarities among friends

A-maize-ing double life of a genome



Archives
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
June 2005
October 2004
July 2001


Science Friends
Agricultural Science
Astronomy News
Biology News
Biomimicry Science
Cognitive Research
Chemistry News
Tissue Engineering
Cancer Research
Cybernetics Research
Electonics Research
Forensics Report
Fossil News
Genetics News
Geology News
Microbiology Research
Nanotech News
Parenting News
Physics News


  Archives |  Submit News |  Advertise With Us |  Contact Us |  Links
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. All contents © 2000 - 2015 Web Doodle, LLC. All rights reserved.