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Chimpanzees of Gombe Genetic Analyses

Chimp family

This project involves the genetic analyses of the skeletons of 22 individual chimpanzees who died between 1966 and 1987. These chimpanzees were studied by primatologists, including Dr. Jane Goodall, prior to the common use of genetic testing.

This project involves the genetic analyses of the skeletons of 22 individual chimpanzees who died between 1966 and 1987. These chimpanzees were studied by primatologists, including Dr. Jane Goodall, prior to the common use of genetic testing.

The research objectives are to:

  • use and develop DNA techniques to extract DNA from the chimpanzees' teeth;
  • analyze mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and 11 tetranucleotide short tandem repeat (STR) loci for pedigree analysis (in particular, this can aid in the identification of paternity, which is important data for many behavioral analyses regarding mate choice, reproductive success, inbreeding avoidance and other aspects of reproductive strategies);
  • assess whether SIV RNA or DNA (incorporated by reverse transcription into the individual’s genome) can be obtained from the samples and, if so, how those sequences relate to current sequences found at Gombe (SIV has been identified in Gombe chimpanzees in the last eight years and shown to affect lifespan).

Funding Source:
Leakey Foundation 

 

Anne Stone, Arizona State University School of Human Evolution and Social Change
Michael Wilson, University of Minnesota Department of Anthropology