, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp 431-435

Species-specific evolution of repeated DNA sequences in great apes

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DNA sequencing reveals that the genomes of the human, gorilla and chimpanzee share more than 98% homology. Comparative chromosome painting and gene mapping have demonstrated that only a few rearrangements of a putative ancestral mammalian genome occurred during great ape and human evolution. However, interspecies representational difference analysis (RDA) of the gorilla between human and gorilla revealed gorilla-specific DNA sequences. Cloning and sequencing of gorilla-specific DNA sequences indicate that there are repetitive elements. Gorilla-specific DNA sequences were mapped by fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) to the subcentromeric/centromeric regions of three pairs of gorilla submetacentric chromosomes. These sequences could represent either ancient sequences that got lost in other species, such as human and orang-utan, or, more likely, recent sequences which evolved or originated specifically in the gorilla genome.