Evolution, living patterns, and mitochondrial genetic variations in chimpanzees

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Publication Type honors thesis
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Anthropology
Faculty Mentor Leslie Knapp
Creator Christensen, Bryce
Title Evolution, living patterns, and mitochondrial genetic variations in chimpanzees
Year graduated 2015
Date 2015-12
Description The study of genetic variation in chimpanzees allows researchers to determine evolutionary origins, population dynamics, living patterns, and more; the focus of this thesis is on the Pan troglodytes verus subspecies of chimpanzees of western Africa. After reviewing the literature, I set out to test two hypotheses: first, males within a community of western chimpanzees in Senegal will share mitochondrial haplotypes with each other that they do not share with the females; second, Pan troglodytes verus will have mitochondrial DNA that is similar to those of other chimpanzee subspecies, implying a similar evolutionary origin. Fecal samples were noninvasively collected from the Fongoli area near the Niokolo Koba National Park in Eastern Senegal, and then transported to the University of Utah's Department of Anthropology for analysis in an evolutionary genetics laboratory. DNA extraction was attempted for six of the twelve samples received. After optimizing the conditions, mitochondrial DNA derived from these extractions was then replicated using PCR, and checked for successful amplification via agarose gel electrophoresis testing. Amplification was successful for four out of the six samples: LI and TM (female), and SI and FO (male); PCR purification was performed on these samples before sending them to the HSC DNA Sequencing Core Facility at the University of Utah. DNA sequences were analyzed using MEGA; the sequences were compared to each other, and to DNA sequences for the Pan troglodytes verus mitochondrial genome already in the literature. Results were also compared to DNA sequences for other chimpanzee subspecies, to bonobos, and to humans to show evolutionary trends and relatedness. Results from my experiments came back mostly inconclusive due to poor quality of the DNA sequences. Future research can be done using the PCR conditions optimized through my experiments.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Chimpanzees -- Genetics; Chimpanzees -- Evolution; Mitochondrial DNA
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Bryce Christensen 2015
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 1,462 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/3697
Permissions Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6tf3p6j
ARK ark:/87278/s68s7z79
Setname ir_htoa
Date Created 2016-02-01
Date Modified 2018-10-29
ID 197248
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s68s7z79
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