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Population genomics of wild Chinese rhesus macaques reveals a dynamic demographic history and local adaptation, with implications for biomedical research

Liu, Zhijin, Tan, Xinxin, Orozco-terWengel, Pablo ORCID:, Zhou, Xuming, Zhang, Liye, Tian, Shilin, Yan, Zhongze, Xu, Huailiang, Ren, Baoping, Zhang, Peng, Xiang, Zuofu, Sun, Binghua, Roos, Christian, Bruford, Michael W. ORCID: and Li, Ming 2018. Population genomics of wild Chinese rhesus macaques reveals a dynamic demographic history and local adaptation, with implications for biomedical research. GigaScience 7 (9) , giy106. 10.1093/gigascience/giy106

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Background The rhesus macaque (RM, Macaca mulatta) is the most important nonhuman primate model in biomedical research. We present the first genomic survey of wild RMs, sequencing 81 geo-referenced individuals of five subspecies from 17 locations in China, a large fraction of the species’ natural distribution. Results Populations were structured into five genetic lineages on the mainland and Hainan Island, recapitulating current subspecies designations. These subspecies are estimated to have diverged 125.8 to 51.3 thousand years ago, but feature recent gene flow. Consistent with the expectation of a larger body size in colder climates and smaller body size in warmer climates (Bergman's rule), the northernmost RM lineage (M. m. tcheliensis), possessing the largest body size of all Chinese RMs, and the southernmost lineage (M. m. brevicaudus), with the smallest body size of all Chinese RMs, feature positively selected genes responsible for skeletal development. Further, two candidate selected genes (Fbp1, Fbp2) found in M. m. tcheliensis are involved in gluconeogenesis, potentially maintaining stable blood glucose levels during starvation when food resources are scarce in winter. The tropical subspecies M. m. brevicaudus showed positively selected genes related to cardiovascular function and response to temperature stimuli, potentially involved in tropical adaptation. We found 118 single-nucleotide polymorphisms matching human disease-causing variants with 82 being subspecies specific. Conclusions These data provide a resource for selection of RMs in biomedical experiments. The demographic history of Chinese RMs and their history of local adaption offer new insights into their evolution and provide valuable baseline information for biomedical investigation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 2047-217X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 September 2018
Date of Acceptance: 12 August 2018
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2024 02:42

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