Human Genetics

, Volume 101, Issue 2, pp 141–148 | Cite as

Evidence for convergent evolution of A and B blood group antigens in primates

  • C. O’hUigin
  • Akie Sato
  • Jan Klein
Original investigation

Abstract

To determine whether convergent or trans-specific evolution is responsible for the persistence of the ABO polymorphism in apes, we have sequenced segments of introns 5 and 6 of the ABO gene. Four substitutions and one insertion or deletion group human A, B, and O alleles together, separate from their chimpanzee A and gorilla B counterparts. No shared substitutions support a trans-species mode of evolution for any of the alleles examined. We conclude that the A and B antigens of the chimpanzee and gorilla, respectively, have arisen by convergent evolution. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the human A and B alleles are ancient, having diverged at least 3 million years ago. These alleles must have therefore been trans-specifically inherited within the genus Homo.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. O’hUigin
    • 1
  • Akie Sato
    • 1
  • Jan Klein
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für Biologie, Abteilung Immungenetik, Corrensstrasse 42, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany Fax: +49 7071 601437DE

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