Chromosome Res, 6, 478- 494

Interspecies comparative genome hybridization and interspecies representational difference analysis reveal gross DNA differences between humans and great apes

R. Toder, Y. Xia, E. Bausch

Comparative chromosome G-/R-banding, comparative gene mapping and chromosome painting techniques have demonstrated that only few chromosomal rearrangements occurred during great ape and human evolution. Interspecies comparative genome hybridization (CGH), used here in this study, between human, gorilla and pygmy chimpanzee revealed species-specific regions in all three species. In contrast to the human, a far more complex distribution of species-specific blocks was detected with CGH in gorilla and pygmy chimpanzee. Most of these blocks coincide with already described heterochromatic regions on gorilla and chimpanzee chromosomes. Representational difference analysis (RDA) was used to subtract the complex genome of gorilla against human in order to enrich gorilla-specific DNA sequences. Gorilla-specific clones isolated with this technique revealed a 32-bp repeat unit. These clones were mapped by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to the telomeric regions of gorilla chromosomes that had been shown by interspecies CGH to contain species-specific sequences.

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