Pan troglodytes


The chimpanzee is a flagship conservation species. Across this species’ distribution, Cameroon is exceptional because two of the four chimpanzee subspecies are found there: P. t. troglodytes and P. t. ellioti (Morgan et al. 2011; English, French). Genetic data from recent studies have shown that these subspecies are significantly different from each other and separated roughly 200-350 thousand years ago (Gonder et al. 2011; Bowden et al. 2012). The ranges of P. t. ellioti and P. t. troglodytes also converge at the Sanaga River in central Cameroon (Gagneux et al. 2001; Gonder et al. 2006; Ghobrial et al. 2010), and their separation persists despite ongoing gene flow. The location of this project in Cameroon and Gabon thus constitutes a ‘natural laboratory’ for studying factors that create and maintain the genetic structure of chimpanzees. Numerous resources are available for chimpanzees, including a comprehensive collection of geo-referenced DNA samples, a library of microsatellite markers, and genome sequences of 10 chimpanzees from this region, which will inform SNP selection.



































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