Re: Australopithecine chromosomes

Gautam Majumdar (
Thu, 16 Jan 1997 23:21:17 +0000

In article <>,
Vincent Paquin <> wrote
>In article <>, "Todd A. Farmerie"
><> wrote:
>> Timo Niroma wrote:
>> > One item that has caught little interest is when and why and with
>> > consequences two chromosomes have merged in Homo, so that we have 23
>> > pairs, when the chimpanzees have preserved the 24 chromosome pairs.
>> Have two chromosomes merged in Homo, or has one split in Pan? What do
>> Gorilla have?
>According to Joy D. A. Delhanty ("Primate genetics and evolution", in The
>Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Evolution, 1992, p.280):
>"Fusion of two pairs of chromosomes accounts for the reduction of the
>chromosome number from 48 in the great apes to 46 in modern humans and most
>other chromosomal differences in the four species [humans, chimpanzees,
>gorillas and orangs] are inversions and variations in the amount and siting
>of repetitive DNA, which has no function in the coding of proteins."
Most of the genes from the extra chromosome in the great apes is found in
one block at the end of the chromosome 2 in humans.

See for a review :

Maddox J, The age of australopithecines, Nature 1994; 372: 31-32

Gautam Majumdar