Comparative and demographic analysis of orang-utan genomes

Devin P. Locke, Ladeana W. Hillier, Wesley C. Warren, Kim C. Worley, Lynne V. Nazareth, Donna M. Muzny, Shiaw Pyng Yang, Zhengyuan Wang, Asif T. Chinwalla, Pat Minx, Makedonka Mitreva, Lisa Cook, Kim D. Delehaunty, Catrina Fronick, Heather Schmidt, Lucinda A. Fulton, Robert S. Fulton, Joanne O. Nelson, Vincent Magrini, Craig PohlTina A. Graves, Chris Markovic, Andy Cree, Huyen H. Dinh, Jennifer Hume, Christie L. Kovar, Gerald R. Fowler, Gerton Lunter, Stephen Meader, Andreas Heger, Chris P. Ponting, Tomas Marques-Bonet, Can Alkan, Lin Chen, Ze Cheng, Jeffrey M. Kidd, Evan E. Eichler, Simon White, Stephen Searle, Albert J. Vilella, Yuan Chen, Paul Flicek, Jian Ma, Brian Raney, Bernard Suh, Richard Burhans, Javier Herrero, David Haussler, Rui Faria, Olga Fernando, Fleur Darré, Doménec Farré, Elodie Gazave, Meritxell Oliva, Arcadi Navarro, Roberta Roberto, Oronzo Capozzi, Nicoletta Archidiacono, Giuliano Della Valle, Stefania Purgato, Mariano Rocchi, Miriam K. Konkel, Jerilyn A. Walker, Brygg Ullmer, Mark A. Batzer, Arian F.A. Smit, Robert Hubley, Claudio Casola, Daniel R. Schrider, Matthew W. Hahn, Victor Quesada, Xose S. Puente, Gonzalo R. Ordõez, Carlos Ĺpez-Otín, Tomas Vinar, Brona Brejova, Aakrosh Ratan, Robert S. Harris, Webb Miller, Carolin Kosiol, Heather A. Lawson, Vikas Taliwal, André L. Martins, Adam Siepel, Arindam Roychoudhury, Xin Ma, Jeremiah Degenhardt, Carlos D. Bustamante, Ryan N. Gutenkunst, Thomas Mailund, Julien Y. Dutheil, Asger Hobolth, Mikkel H. Schierup, Oliver A. Ryder, Yuko Yoshinaga, Pieter J. De Jong, George M. Weinstock, Jeffrey Rogers, Elaine R. Mardis, Richard A. Gibbs, Richard K. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

402 Scopus citations


Orang-utan- is derived from a Malay term meaning man of the forest- and aptly describes the southeast Asian great apes native to Sumatra and Borneo. The orang-utan species, Pongo abelii (Sumatran) and Pongo pygmaeus (Bornean), are the most phylogenetically distant great apes from humans, thereby providing an informative perspective on hominid evolution. Here we present a Sumatran orang-utan draft genome assembly and short read sequence data from five Sumatran and five Bornean orang-utan genomes. Our analyses reveal that, compared to other primates, the orang-utan genome has many unique features. Structural evolution of the orang-utan genome has proceeded much more slowly than other great apes, evidenced by fewer rearrangements, less segmental duplication, a lower rate of gene family turnover and surprisingly quiescent Alu repeats, which have played a major role in restructuring other primate genomes. We also describe a primate polymorphic neocentromere, found in both Pongo species, emphasizing the gradual evolution of orang-utan genome structure. Orang-utans have extremely low energy usage for a eutherian mammal, far lower than their hominid relatives. Adding their genome to the repertoire of sequenced primates illuminates new signals of positive selection in several pathways including glycolipid metabolism. From the population perspective, both Pongo species are deeply diverse; however, Sumatran individuals possess greater diversity than their Bornean counterparts, and more species-specific variation. Our estimate of Bornean/Sumatran speciation time, 400,000years ago, is more recent than most previous studies and underscores the complexity of the orang-utan speciation process. Despite a smaller modern census population size, the Sumatran effective population size (N e) expanded exponentially relative to the ancestral N e after the split, while Bornean N e declined over the same period. Overall, the resources and analyses presented here offer new opportunities in evolutionary genomics, insights into hominid biology, and an extensive database of variation for conservation efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-533
Number of pages5
Issue number7331
StatePublished - Jan 27 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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