Zoological Research ›› 2019, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (6): 532-540.doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2019.057

Special Issue: Genetics & evolution Primates

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Conserved sequences identify the closest living relatives of primates

Mei-Ling Zhang1,Ming-Li Li2,4,Adeola Oluwakemi Ayoola2,4,Robert W. Murphy2,3,Dong-Dong Wu2(),Yong Shao2()   

  1. 1. Department of Acute Infectious Diseases Control and Prevention, Yunnan Provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Kunming Yunnan 650022, China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming Yunnan 650223, China
    3. Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto M5S 2C6, Canada
    4. Kunming College of Life Science, University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming Yunnan 650223, China
  • Received:2019-03-30 Accepted:2019-08-05 Online:2019-11-18 Published:2019-10-14
  • Contact: Dong-Dong Wu,Yong Shao E-mail:shaoyong@mail.kiz.ac.cn


Elucidating the closest living relatives of extant primates is essential for fully understanding important biological processes related to the genomic and phenotypic evolution of primates, especially of humans. However, the phylogenetic placement of these primate relatives remains controversial, with three primary hypotheses currently espoused based on morphological and molecular evidence. In the present study, we used two algorithms to analyze differently partitioned genomic datasets consisting of 45.4 Mb of conserved non-coding elements and 393 kb of concatenated coding sequences to test these hypotheses. We assessed different genomic histories and compared with other molecular studies found solid support for colugos being the closest living relatives of primates. Our phylogeny showed Cercopithecinae to have low levels of nucleotide divergence, especially for Papionini, and gibbons to have a high rate of divergence. The MCMCtree comprehensively updated divergence dates of early evolution of Primatomorpha and Primates.

Key words: Phylogeny, Colugos, Primates, Conserved non-coding elements, Divergence time