Skip to main content

The origin of modern humans: A cytogenetic model

Abstract

A new model of the origin of man is proposed on the basis of recent studies on cytogenetics of chromosomal Q-heterochromatin regions (Q-HRs) in man and other higher primates. This model is based on the following facts: a) chromosomal Q-HRs were found in the genome of only three higher primates (man, the chimpanzee and the gorilla); b) chromosomal Q-HRs in the human genome, unlike those in apes, exhibit considerable quantitative variability; c) the number of human chromosomal Q-HRs in the genome has a selective value in the adaptation of human populations to various environmental conditions.

According to this model, the three major morphofunctional distinctions of man—great physiological flexibility, characteristic morphological structure, and conceptual thinking—arose as a result of the capacity of our remote ancestors to broadly change their genome mass owing to features of chromosomal Q-HRs that are only intrinsic to man. We feel that genome-mass variability through chromosomal Q-HRs allowed man to adapt himself to various environments over such a short period of time.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Al-Nassar K.E., Palmer C.G., Conneally P.M. & Pao-Lo Yu, 1981.The genetic structure of the Kuwaiti population. II. The distribution of Q-band chromosomal heteromorphisms. Hum. Genet., 57: 423–427.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Andrews P., 1986.Fossil evidence on human origins and dispersal. Cold Spring Harb. Symp. Quant. Biol. 51: 419–428.

    Google Scholar 

  • Andrews P. & Van Couvering A.H., 1975. In:Approaches to Primate Paleobiology, pp. 62–105. F.S. Szalay, Ed. Karger, Basel.

    Google Scholar 

  • Arrighi F.E. & Hsu T.C., 1971.Localization of heterochromatin in human chromosomes. Cytogenetics, 10: 81–86.

    Google Scholar 

  • Baker P.T. (Editor), 1978.The Biology of High Altitude Peoples. Cambridge University Press.

  • Brauer G., 1984.A craniological approach to the origin of anatomically modern Homo sapiens in Africa and implications for the appearance of modern Europeans. In: Smith, S., and Spencer, G., The Origins of Modern Humans. Alan R. Liss, New York, pp. 327–410.

    Google Scholar 

  • Buckton K.E., O'Riordan M.L., Jacobs P.A., Robinson J.A., Hill R. & Evans H.J., 1976.C- and Q- band polymorphisms in the chromosomes of three human populations. Ann. Hum. Genet., 40: 99–112.

    Google Scholar 

  • Caspersson T., Zech L. & Johansson C., 1970.Differential banding alkilating fuorochromes in human chromosomes. Exp. Cell. Res., 60: 315–319.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chiarelli B. & Lin C.C., 1972.Comparison of fluorescence patterns in human and chimpanzee chromosomes. Genet. Phaenen, 15: 103–106.

    Google Scholar 

  • Erdtmann B., 1982.Aspects of Evaluation, Significance, and Evolution of Human C-band Heteromorphism. Hum. Genet., 61: 281–294.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Grouchy J. de, Turleau C., Roubin M. & Chavin C.F., 1973.Chromosomal evolution of man and the primates, pp. 124–131. In: T. Caspersson and L. Zech, eds.Chromosome Identification, technique and applications in biology and medicine. Academic Press, New York/London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Harrison G.A., Weiner J.S., Tanner J.M. & Barnicot N.A., 1977.Human Biology, Oxford, Oxford Univ. Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ibraimov A.I. & Mirrakhimov M.M., 1985.Q-band polymorphism in autosomes and Y chromosome in human population. In:Progress and Topics in Cytogenetics. The Y chromosome. Part A. Basic Characteristics of the Y Chromosome. Ed. A.A. Sandberg, pp. 213–287. Alan R. Liss, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ibraimov A.I., Mirrakhimov M.M., Nazarenko S.A., Axenrod E.I. & Akbanova G.A., 1982.Human Chromosomal Q-polymorphism in Mongoloid populations of Central Asia. Hum. Genet., 60: 1–7.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ibraimov A.I., Mirrakhimov M.M., Axenrod E.I. & Kurmanova G.U., 1986.Human Chromosomal Polymorphism. IX. Further data on the possible selective value of chromosomal Q-heterochromatin material. Hum. Genet., 73: 151–156.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ibraimov A.I., Kurmanova G.U., Ginsburg E. Kh., Aksenovich T.I. & Aksenrod E.I., 1990.Chromosomal Q-heterochromatin regions in native highlanders of Pamir and Tien-Shan and in newcomers. Cytobios, 63: 71–82.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ibraimov A.I., Aksenrod E.I. & Kurmanova G.U., 1991.Chromosomal Q heterochromatin regions in the indigenous population of the northern part of West Siberia and in new migrants. Cytobios, 67: 95–100.

    Google Scholar 

  • ISCN, 1978.An International System for Human Cytogenetic Nomenclature, p. 117. S. Karger. Basel/New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • King M.C. & Wilson A.C., 1975.Evolution at two levels in humans and chimpanzees. Science, 108: 107–116.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kurmanova G.U. & Ibraimov A.I., 1991.The biological role of human chromosomal Q-heterochromatin regions. 8th Int. Cong. of Human Genetics, Am. J. Hum. Genet., Suppl., Vol. 49, No. 4, p. 285.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lima-de-Faria A., 1983.Molecular Evolution and Organization of the chromosome. Elsevier. Amsterdam, New York, Oxford.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lubs H.A., Kimberling W.J., Hecht F., Patil S.R., Brown J., Gerald P. & Summitt R.L., 1977.Racial differences in the frequency of Q and C chromosomal heteromorphisms. Nature, Vol. 268, No. 5621, 631–632.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Miklos G.L., John B., 1979.Heterochromatin and Satellite DNA in Man: Properties and Prospects. Amer. J. Hum. Genet. 31: 264–280.

    Google Scholar 

  • Miller D.A., Firschein I.L., Dev V.G., Tantravahi R. & Miller O.J., 1974.The gorilla karyotype: chromosome length and polymorphisms. Cytogenet. Cell Genet., 13: 536–550.

    Google Scholar 

  • Muller H.J., Klinger H.P. & Glasser M., 1975.Chromosome polymorphism in a human newborn population. II. Potentials of polymorphic chromosome variants for characterizing the idiogram of an individual. Cytogenet. Cell. Genet., 15: 239–255.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ohno S., 1973.Evolutionary reason for having so much junk DNA. InPfeiffer, R.A. (eded.).Modern Aspects of Cytogenetics in Man. Stuttgart: Schattauer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Paris Conference, 1971. Supplement, 1975.Standardization in human cytogenetics. Birth Defects. Original Article Series IX (9), National Foundation, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pearson P.L., 1973.The uniqueness of the human karyotype. In: T. Caspersson, and L. Zech, eds.Chromosome identification: technique and applications in biology and medicine. Nobel Symp., Vol. 23, pp. 145–151. Acad. Press, New York, London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pearson P.L., 1977.Banding patterns chromosome polymorphism and primate evolution. Progress in Medical Genetics, N.Y., 2: 174–197.

    Google Scholar 

  • Prokofyeva-Belgovskaya A.A., 1986.Heterochromatin Regions of Chromosomes (Russian). Nauka, Moscow.

    Google Scholar 

  • Seuanez H., Robinson J., Martin, D.E. & Short R.V., 1976.Fluorescent (F) bodies in the spermatozoa of man and great apes. Cytogenet. Cell Genet., 17: 317–326.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stahl A. & Hartung M., 1981.L'heterochromatin. Ann. Genet. 24: 69–77.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stanyon R., Studer M., Dragone A., De Benedictis G. & Brancati C., 1988.Population cytogenetics of Albanians in the province of Cosenza (Italy): frequency of Q and C band variants. Int. J. Anthropol., 3, 1: 19–29.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stringer C.B. & Andrews P., 1988.Genetic and fossil evidence for the origin of modern humans. Science, 239: 1263–1268.

    Google Scholar 

  • Trask V., Van der Engh G.J. & Gray J.W., 1989. Inheritance of chromosome heteromorphisms analyzed by high-resolution bivariate flow karyotyping. Amer. J. Hum. Genet. 45: 753–760.

    Google Scholar 

  • Verma R.S., 1988.Heterochromatin. Molecular and Structural Aspects.Cambridge Univ. Press. Cambridge, New York, Sydney.

    Google Scholar 

  • Verma R.S. & Dosik H., 1980.Human chromosomal heteromorphisms: nature and clinical significations. Int. Rev. Cytol. 62: 361–383.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Warburton D., Firschein I.L., Miller D.A. & Warburton F., 1973.Karyotype of the chimpanzee Pan troglodytes based on measurements and banding pattern: comparison to the human karyotype. Cytogenet. Cell Genet. 12: 452–461.

    Google Scholar 

  • Yamada K. & Hasegawa T., 1978.Types and frequencies of Q-variant chromosomes in a Japanese population. Hum. Genet., 44: 89–98.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yunis J.J. & Prakash D., 1982.The origin of man: a chromosomal pictorial legacy. Science, 215: 1525–1530.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ibraimov, A.I. The origin of modern humans: A cytogenetic model. Hum. Evol. 8, 81–91 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02436607

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02436607

Key words

  • Chromosomal Q-heterochromatin
  • Origin of modern humans
  • Human adaptation