Bonobos fall within the genomic variation of Chimpanzees

Anne Fischer, Kay Prüfer, Jeffrey M. Good, Michel Halbwax, Victor Wiebe, Claudine André, Rebeca Atencia, Lawrence Mugisha, Susan E. Ptak, Svante Pääbo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


To gain insight into the patterns of genetic variation and evolutionary relationships within and between bonobos and chimpanzees, we sequenced 150,000 base pairs of nuclear DNA divided among 15 autosomal regions as well as the complete mitochondrial genomes from 20 bonobos and 58 chimpanzees. Except for western chimpanzees, we found poor genetic separation of chimpanzees based on sample locality. In contrast, bonobos consistently cluster together but fall as a group within the variation of chimpanzees for many of the regions. Thus, while chimpanzees retain genomic variation that predates bonobo-chimpanzee speciation, extensive lineage sorting has occurred within bonobos such that much of their genome traces its ancestry back to a single common ancestor that postdates their origin as a group separate from chimpanzees.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere21605
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2011


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