The Demographic and Adaptive History of the African Green Monkey

Relatively little is known about the evolutionary history of the African green monkey (genus Chlorocebus) due to the lack of sampled polymorphism data fromwild populations. Yet, this characterization of genetic diversity is not only critical for a better understanding of their own history, but also for human biomedical research given that they are one of the most widely used primate models. Here, I analyze the demographic and selective history of the African green monkey, utilizing one of the most comprehensive catalogs of wild genetic diversity to date, consisting of 1,795,643 autosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms in 25 individuals, representing all five major populations: C. a. aethiops, C. a. cynosurus, C. a. pygerythrus, C. a. sabaeus, and C. a tantalus. Assuming a mutation rate of 5.9 x 10(-9) per base pair per generation and a generation time of 8.5 years, divergence time estimates range from 523 to 621 kya for the basal split of C. a. aethiops from the other four populations. Importantly, the resulting tree characterizing the relationship and split-times between these populations differs significantly from that presented in the original genome paper, owing to their neglect of within-population variation when calculating between population-divergence. In addition, I find that the demographic history of all five populations is well explained by a model of population fragmentation and isolation, rather than novel colonization events. Finally, utilizing these demographic models as a null, I investigate the selective history of the populations, identifying candidate regions potentially related to adaptation in response to pathogen exposure.

Published in:
Molecular Biology And Evolution, 34, 5, 1055-1065
Oxford, Oxford Univ Press

 Record created 2017-05-30, last modified 2018-01-28

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