Review of the Orangutan Genome on

If you don’t follow or subscribe to our sister blog, I want to make you aware of an anthropological post I just put up on the newly published orangutan genome. Click here to read about some of the findings, but to wet your appetite, it involves the estimated divergence of the two orangutan species at 400,000 years ago, the relative stabilitiy of their genomes compared to human and chimpanzee, and lastly the shared similarities between human and orang, and not orang and chimp.

Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii)
Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii)

For quick access to the primary sources, the full citations to the papers discussed are below this read more link.

    Locke, D., Hillier, L., Warren, W., Worley, K., Nazareth, L., Muzny, D., Yang, S., Wang, Z., Chinwalla, A., Minx, P., Mitreva, M., Cook, L., Delehaunty, K., Fronick, C., Schmidt, H., Fulton, L., Fulton, R., Nelson, J., Magrini, V., Pohl, C., Graves, T., Markovic, C., Cree, A., Dinh, H., Hume, J., Kovar, C., Fowler, G., Lunter, G., Meader, S., Heger, A., Ponting, C., Marques-Bonet, T., Alkan, C., Chen, L., Cheng, Z., Kidd, J., Eichler, E., White, S., Searle, S., Vilella, A., Chen, Y., Flicek, P., Ma, J., Raney, B., Suh, B., Burhans, R., Herrero, J., Haussler, D., Faria, R., Fernando, O., Darré, F., Farré, D., Gazave, E., Oliva, M., Navarro, A., Roberto, R., Capozzi, O., Archidiacono, N., Valle, G., Purgato, S., Rocchi, M., Konkel, M., Walker, J., Ullmer, B., Batzer, M., Smit, A., Hubley, R., Casola, C., Schrider, D., Hahn, M., Quesada, V., Puente, X., Ordoñez, G., López-Otín, C., Vinar, T., Brejova, B., Ratan, A., Harris, R., Miller, W., Kosiol, C., Lawson, H., Taliwal, V., Martins, A., Siepel, A., RoyChoudhury, A., Ma, X., Degenhardt, J., Bustamante, C., Gutenkunst, R., Mailund, T., Dutheil, J., Hobolth, A., Schierup, M., Ryder, O., Yoshinaga, Y., de Jong, P., Weinstock, G., Rogers, J., Mardis, E., Gibbs, R., & Wilson, R. (2011). Comparative and demographic analysis of orang-utan genomes Nature, 469 (7331), 529-533 DOI: 10.1038/nature09687
    Hobolth, A., Dutheil, J., Hawks, J., Schierup, M., & Mailund, T. (2011). Incomplete lineage sorting patterns among human, chimpanzee and orangutan suggest recent orangutan speciation and widespread selection Genome Research DOI: 10.1101/gr.114751.110

2 thoughts on “Review of the Orangutan Genome on

  1. Orangutans are critically endangered in the wild because of rapid deforestation and the expansion of palm oil plantations. If nothing is done to protect these majestic creatures, they could be extinct in just a few years. Visit the Orangutan Outreach website to learn more and make a difference!
    Reach out and save the orangutans!
    Adopt an orangutan today!

  2. Please accept this amateur question: by way of background, I seem to recall that, back in the 1980’s, professor Jeffrey Schwartz published a book claiming that orang utans are structurally more like humans than chimpanzees and gorillas are. From this he concluded that genetic arguments to the contrary must contain some subtle, to-date unrecognized error. I would like to ask how Schwartz’s claims are currently viewed. In particular, in the past twenty years or so, have Schwartz’s claims as to the structural closeness of orang utans and humans been verified or refuted?

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