Here we present a DNA sequence study that incorporates intraspecific variation from all five genera of hominoids (apes and humans). Recently it has been claimed that using single individuals to analyze species' relationships might be misleading if within-species variation is great. Our results indicate that despite high intraspecific variation in mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit II gene sequences of some hominoids, humans and chimpanzees are nonetheless significantly most closely related. We also report the observation that variation within the gorilla species exceeds that between common and pygmy chimpanzee species, a finding with implications for conservation. In contrast, humans are less mitochondrially diverse than lowland gorillas inhabiting western Africa.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - Sep 13 1994
- cytochrome oxidase subunit II gene
- hominoid evolution
- mitochondrial DNA diversity
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