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Thesis Open Access

Introgression from Gorilla caused the Human-Chimpanzee split

Nygren, Johan

ABSTRACT: The Gorilla Genome Project (Scally, 2012) showed that 30% of the gorilla genome introgressed into the ancestor of humans and chimpanzees, and that the two species diverged through lineage sorting with 15% ending up in Pan and another 15% in Homo. That introgression is the Pan-Homo split, hybridization, which led to speciation as the new hybrid lineages became reproductively isolated from one another.

The NUMT on chromosome 5 (“ps5”) (Popadin, 2017) fits perfectly with the introgression speciation model, it was formed from mtDNA that had diverged from the common ancestor of Pan-Homo for 1.8 Myr at the time of insertion into the nuclear genome, and originated in the Gorilla lineage. The ps5 pseudogene was transferred to Pan and Homo during the introgression event that led to the Pan-Homo split, 6 million years ago.

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