Although direct DNA sequencing may allow rapid and high quality comparative phylogenetic analyses among species, such an approach may not be the most efficient method by which to make a large number of cross-species comparisons. We illustrate the use of Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) to screen a D2 Dopamine Receptor intron for DNA sequence variation, both within and between closely related species, in order to infer their evolutionary relationships. Our results suggest that: a) humans have less genetic variation than the great apes; b) pygmy chimpanzees have less genetic variation than common chimpanzees; and c) DNA sequence comparative analyses of primates require adequate sampling, both in number and in geographical range.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to thank William Speed for assistance in DNA sequencing. We also thank the many individuals in other organizations, as noted in the text, for providing the primate samples that made this study possible. This research was supported in part by grants from the Leakey Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research to ASD; a dissertation improvement grant (NSF SBR 9315871) to ASD (J. Marks, PI); a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to KKK; and USPHS grant AA09379 to KKK.
- denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis
- molecular evolution