The Bonobo Genome Compared with the Chimpanzee and Human Genomes

Kay Prüfer et al., Nature, June 13, 2012


Two African apes are the closest living relatives of humans: the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and the bonobo (Pan paniscus). Although they are similar in many respects, bonobos and chimpanzees differ strikingly in key social and sexual behaviours1234, and for some of these traits they show more similarity with humans than with each other. Here we report the sequencing and assembly of the bonobo genome to study its evolutionary relationship with the chimpanzee and human genomes. We find that more than three per cent of the human genome is more closely related to either the bonobo or the chimpanzee genome than these are to each other. These regions allow various aspects of the ancestry of the two ape species to be reconstructed. In addition, many of the regions that overlap genes may eventually help us understand the genetic basis of phenotypes that humans share with one of the two apes to the exclusion of the other.


Differences in female and male population history, for example, with respect to reproductive success and migration rates, are of special interest in understanding the evolution of social structure. To approach this question in the Pan ancestor, we compared the inferred ancestral population sizes of the X chromosome and the autosomes. Because two-thirds of X chromosomes are found in females whereas autosomes are split equally between the two sexes, a ratio between their effective population sizes (X/A ratio) of 0.75 is expected under random mating. The X/A ratio in the Pan ancestor, corrected for the higher mutation rate in males, is 0.83 (0.75–0.91) (Fig. 4 and Supplementary Information, section 8). Similarly, we estimated an X/A ratio of 0.85 (0.79–0.93) for present-day bonobos using Ulindi single nucleotide polymorphisms in 200-kb windows (Supplementary Information, section 9). Under the assumption of random mating, this would mean that on average two females reproduce for each reproducing male. The difference in the variance of reproductive success between the sexes certainly contributes to this observation, as does the fact that whereas bonobo females often move to new groups upon maturation, males tend to stay within their natal group20. Because both current and ancestral X/A ratios are similar to each other and also to some human groups (Fig. 4), this suggests that they may also have been typical for the ancestor shared with humans.




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  • bear grylls

    Is that why when the discovery channel portrays primitive human species such as Homo Erectus seems they could use africans without much makeup.Am I wrong or did they actually use genes from all three major races to do the human genome project.

    • Anna Tree

      It seems to me the article is just saying that Europeans (Cromagnons and later) were, as per our DNA, more monogamous, compared to the others.

  • IstvanIN

    The original article seems to suggest that Europeans are more genetically removed from Bonobos because of migration out of Africa.

    • Anna Tree

      I don’t think so.
      I think it’s more like one grand-pa (Pan), two sons (Human and Ape). Then another “generation” African and European to the Human, and Chimpanzee and Bonobo to Ape. Human diverged from Ape some 6-7 million years ago. Chimpanzee diverged from Bonobo some 2 million years ago (because of the Congo River). European diverged from African some 50,000 years ago (migration out of Africa, European mixing with Neanderthals while African may have mixed longer with other African hominins).

      I think the article just then points out that some of Human genes are in common with chimpanzee and Bonobo. Of those, some are only in common with Chimpanzee and some are only in common with Bonobo.
      To continue my comparison with a grand-pa, his two sons and his four grand-sons, it happens that some traits of the two Human grand-sons (African and European) will come from their Pan grand-pa and therefore will resemble some traits of this Chimpanzee cousin or this Bonobo cousin.

      Then I think the article bring the example of one trait of African that is closer to Bonobo: European and African show a difference in their X/a ratio (if I understand, it is how many a female reproduces compared to a male). The X/a ratio of African is closer to Pan compared to Bonobo, but much closer to Pan and Bonobo than the X/a of European is. That is while African X/a shows a bit above two females reproducing for each reproducting male (almost similar to Pan and Bonobo), the European X/a is much lower.

      • mAssimo___

        Out of Africa is pretty much another liberal fairy tale. I highly recommend you read Erectus Walks Among Us by Dr. Richard Fuerle. It’s a free online read. It demolishes OoA and builds the case for an Out of Eurasia theory that makes way more sense and it’s much easier to corroborate by simple observation.

      • BulgAryan


        • I am happy to see you post pictures here again. I know who you are, and I am glad.

          • BulgAryan

            You know who I am? Scary 🙂

  • tetrapod

    Can we interpret the X/A ratio to mean that Africans in general are more closely related to Pan than they are to Homo? If so, be afraid. Be very afraid.

    • Urbane Neanderthal

      No the X:A ratio is not exactly a genetic relation. It is a behavioral (reproductive) matter.

      In lay terms the data in the pic says that Africans breed like chimps.

      • AndrewInterrupted

        What is going on in your avatar, BTW?

        • Urbane Neanderthal

          It’s an African bullet proof vest.

          • AndrewInterrupted

            You must have found that on pigroll. That site is a riot.

          • BonV.Vant

            Thats hilarious. The retard thinks a life vest will save his life from bullets.

          • If you think that’s funny, in Congo they think that rape grants them a magical potion that wards off enemy bullets.

            In 2007, Emmy-award winning filmmaker Lisa Jackson travelled to Congo to produce a documentary “The Greatest Silence, Rape in the Congo” about the situation. […] “I interviewed about a dozen but I could have interviewed two or three times that number,” she said. “They were completely unashamed and were bragging about having raped dozens of women. They would never be court-martialled, or spend any time in prison.” One soldier talked about there being a “magic potion” used to fend off enemy bullets — the spell, he said, was activated by raping a woman.

            There’s a youtube video of this particular interviewee but I can’t seem to locate it at present.

  • Romulus

    In lay terms, geuss whom is closer to the tree!
    We already knew this, however!

    • BonV.Vant

      They claim the X/A ratio shows that the ancestor of “humans” was similar to the bonobos and chimps in respect to successful reproduction ratios between males and females. In present day populations, the africans are more similar to the apes in this respect than they are to Europeans. I would say that perhaps there is a “pre-african” ancestor that Europeans do not share with africans.

      • Romulus

        There was a similar thread here on amren last year, a thread on the aboriginals, I believe. I can’t recall the poster, but a pic was put up about a particular African/negroid rapist captured in north Carolina that showed physiological traits so primitive, that it could have been an homo erectus.It only appeared slightly more advanced than koko due to bipedalism.

  • Lt. Greyman, NVA

    This is a huge support for the book “Erectus Walks Amongst Us” which for years has been underlining the fact that negros are not just a different sub-species of humans, but a different species. These results show a drift even farther than the 0.25% difference in the book (0.025% qualifies as a different species amongst birds species and 0.25% is twice the difference between chimp and orangutan).

    Wow, expect heads to be exploding in Liberal land tonight.

    • AndrewInterrupted

      The Liberals have several anti-truth defense mechanisms. I suspect
      the Libtards of the Racial MadCow variety will be using the tried and
      true strategy of Suppress thru Ignore on this one.

      • BonV.Vant

        “The Liberals have several anti-truth defense mechanisms”– yes, the most frequently used one is to get irrational and start using the word “racist” There will come a day when that word will be ridiculous, because there will just be too much evidence about the very different natures and abilities of the races. WE will be able to say: “yes. we rare racists, we acknowledge reality, why is your malfunction that you can not do this?”

      • RonanTheLibtardian

        My Auntie Rachel has all the tricks.

    • BonV.Vant

      Ibn this respect they are almost identical to chimps.

    • bilderbuster

      The article was published 13 June 2012.
      This has been highly classified information in Liberal Land for two years and you can bet the cover-up will continue.
      It’s now an indisputable fact that the African is much more closely related to the Bonobo than to Europeans.
      All the lies about equality have been shattered forever.
      Africans are at best a somewhat domesticated Bonobo.
      Who didn’t see this one coming?

    • Cannot Tell

      I enjoyed that book. But if Africans really are a different species than Europeans and Asians, why do you think we can all mate together? I took AP Biology a while ago, but from what I recall there are pre-zygotic and post-zygotic barriers to prevent different species from breeding. When Africans mate with Europeans fertilization typically occurs and the offspring are not usually infertile. If the opposite were true, wouldn’t that lend credence to the argument that Africans are a different species than Europeans?

  • Mrfinoni

    We a

  • Mrfinoni

    science has already learned that Europeans have Neanderthal DNA which Sub-Saharans do not! This alone makes us a different species. This is not moral or ethical it is simply scientific.

    • Nathanwartooth

      I have found that race and species are very loaded words that might not even make sense for humans.

      I have just started using more vague terms like “groups with different average traits”. That way it avoids the species and race terms.

  • GenX Antipodean

    Look for funding on this research to disappear and any scientists involved being reluctant to put their names next these findings.
    As genes are racist.

  • Martel

    I admire scientists who do their job without any compulsions to follow the misguided standards of society. They cannot ever be aligned to a political party or institute in the future which wishes to restrict immigration, that is for sure.

  • B.B.

    People seem to be misinterpreting the image showing “inferred ancestral population sizes of the X chromosome and the autosomes” to be implying something about closer genetic similarity between Bonabos and Africans compared to Bonabos and Europeans, which is idiotic. It’s amazing how terrible some peoples reading comprehension is.

    • Martel

      The authors do not intend to prove such similarity, but to say it doesn’t imply such a conclusion makes no sense. It does imply that there may be greater links between Africans, Europeans and different ancestors.

    • tetrapod

      That’s why I posed the question above. What point is the article actually trying to make, that the ratio of X chromosomes to population size in Europeans is starkly different from those of Africans and the ancestors of Pan? The article presents nothing further to indicate what this means in terms of social or behavioral differences.

      Seems to me Amren has used this article to imply a close genetic link between Africans and apes that’s not shared with Europeans, which is not actually stated in the article itself.

      • AndrewInterrupted

        “…Seems to me Amren has used this article to imply a close genetic link between Africans and apes — not shared with Europeans — which is not actually stated in the article itself…”

        The scientists wouldn’t want the government grant money to dry up now would they?.. <;-D

        • BonV.Vant

          The data suggests it, even if thaw authors avoided elucidating it.

          • AndrewInterrupted

            I think Barack Obonobo made a point of announcing the brain mapping program, emphasizing that he signed for the funding of it, so the scientist heard that government funding warning shot. That warning shot that said:

            “…Just remember scientists, who signed your paycheck for this one. No bad news…”

          • BonV.Vant

            time to flush obamalene

    • BonV.Vant

      Are you saying that there are no genetic differences between africans and europeans?

      • WR_the_realist

        The article is not about genetic differences between African and Europeans. It’s about the degree of monogamy vs. polygamy in Africans, Europeans, chimpanzees, and bonobos.

  • Well those professors have explained well how the phrase “chimp out” is not racist, but simple truth. That graph spells it out well enough for a moron to understand. Liberals will have more difficulty though.

  • haroldcrews

    Does anyone know whether there is evidence that biracial children have higher rates of sterility than individuals who are mono-racial?

    • So CAL Snowman

      I’ve read that it is very difficult to find bone marrow donors for mixed race people.

      • Almost impossible actually. So, they are born with a fatal flaw in their system to boot.

      • Martel

        You can visit many websites of children’s hospitals or NGO’s dedicated to registering donors and this is clearly spelled out.

    • Einsatzgrenadier

      There’s evidence that biracial children and adolescents are at greater risk of health and behavioral problems.

      • Do you mean “biracial” or interspecies chimeras like the current squatter in the White House?

      • NotThatGuy

        In all my years, I have yet to find a mulatto that isn’t diagnosed with some kind of learning disability. Be it Autism, Aspergers, ADHD and ED are just a few to note.

    • Kathy M

      They have muted natures. Anything that would cast mulattoes in a negative light would be suppressed, naturally. There is no telling what kind of genetic mutations are going on there.

    • James Bro

      It would be a dream come true if they were all born sterile.

  • BonV.Vant

    The big mistake they make is that they get ancestors and descendant wrong. Chimps and bonobos are more advanced than africans.

  • Kathy M

    My theory is that Africanus Americanus could be the missing link between ape and man.

    • One of them, but there is something else. I regard people as a closely-related group of species. We are interfertile, but so are other closely-related animals.

  • MekongDelta69

    Another study which states the obvious.

    Bye bye Kay Prüfer…

  • Luca

    Thank goodness chimpanzees can’t read, they would be very depressed about this news. It would be a complete blow to their egos and self-esteem.

    • We could start some government programs to build their self-esteem. This would only cost elebenty-seben gazillion dollars of yours and my money.

  • bilderbuster

    I’ve always wondered why the Darwinists were constantly searching high and low for “The Missing Link” between man and monkeys.
    I thought that the answer was right in front of them and that “The Missing Link” wasn’t extinct anymore than the monkeys are extinct.

  • LACountyRedneck

    Who would have ever thought there were such similarities between the bonobo, chimp, and the boon?

  • Anna Tree

    I am not sure about the meaning of the findings of this article, but it has always seemed logic to me that the different races of today, diverged also by mating with different hominins, if not hominids.

    Those who stayed in Africa longer, continued longer to mate with other African hominids. So the first wave of Homo Sapiens out of Africa, 70,000 years ago, who went East along the coast, who are the ancestors of the Australoids (Australian Arborigines, Indonesians etc) stopped mixing with African hominids/hominins the first and mixed with other local hominins, maybe hominids, wherever they settled, like for example the Denisovans. The Australoids are the most distant to the Africans. Then the second wave, 50,000 years ago, who went to the Middle East and then to North Africa, Europe and Asia, our ancestors the Cromagnons, also stopped mixing with African hominids and mixed for example with the hominin Neanderthals.

    • wildfirexx

      Interestingly, new archeological studies indicate that the Americas may have been first settled by Australoids, 50,000 to 70,000 years ago.
      But were either forced out, or exterminated by the next wave of immigrants roughly 12,000 years ago!

      • AndrewInterrupted

        They also found footprints in the mud around England that are at least 800,000 years old. They originally thought human habitation around the Iberian peninsula had started 400,000 years ago, with the Neanderthals.

      • AndrewInterrupted

        They also found footprints in the mud around England that are at least 800,000 years old. They had originally thought that human habitation around the Iberian peninsula had started 400,000 years ago, with the Neanderthals.

        Snowmass, Colorado is one of those new sites, where they found a Neanderthal meat cache that was roughly 45,000 years old. People from the Iberian peninsula are the real indigenous North Americans. A real inconvenient truth for the Johnny-come-latelys. That is the reason why the Indians pushed NAGPRA through, to prevent further analysis of human remains.

        Dennis Stanford covered other sites in his book: Across Atlantic Ice.

        • wildfirexx

          The latest DNA findings in the Americas also indicates that most native Indians (outside of Canada) carry roughly 30% european dna, similar to dna found in the people of Siberia 12000 years ago. This proves interbreeding between the mogoloids and the europeans. But whether it took place before the migration across the frozen ice to the new world, or after has jet to be determined.

          • AndrewInterrupted

            I’ve heard that, too. Actually what I heard was the Ojibwe have ancient European genes. And they are east coast Canadians.

        • Out of Eurasia.

  • wildfirexx

    It would be interesting to compare the genome of these apes with the Neanderthals as well, and then compare that with modern Africans!
    We are probably getting a little closer to understanding the steps of evolution through DNA processing, in which some of us evolved into new subspecies, while others basically remained the same.
    But definitely,…We still have a long ways to go!

  • Saggin Gin

    I wonder if DNA processing can show why these ape-like primates have such an appetite for fried chicken, water mellon, and grape drink.

  • Some genuine intellectuals – if some can be found anymore in the universities – need to give a solid, logical definition of gobledy-gook. Your post is full of terms which almost no one knows. To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, we simply have no way of knowing whether what you’re saying is true or false.
    (Thatcher, when elected Prime Minister, was asked by reporters what it was like to be the first woman prime minister. She immediately replied, “having never been a man, I can’t say.” My opinion of her logic capabilities immediately shot up several jumps.)

  • Lt. Greyman, NVA

    I read the critique and do not find the arguments are compelling. Homo Africanus stands on both the taxonomic and gross anatomy level. Even the author at the end says that his system does not take into account the genetic differences of diseases and transplants and probably would be rejected if it were applied to medicine. Hint: When an scientific author rejects his own hypothesis in the summary, he is trying to say something that he can’t say. Sorry, you missed.

    • B.B.

      I didn’t miss anything, although you clearly missed a lot. The whole point of the article is that human races/subspecies is a valid taxonomic concept by multiple different definitions, which is entirely consistent with different genetic susceptibilities to disease and higher rates of transplant failures. So Woodley shows that the common arguments that humans cannot be split into subspecies (i.e. are monotypic) as well as Fuerle’s argument that human racial differences constitute a species difference are both wrong. There is nothing remotely politically correct about Michael Woodley, who is a top hereditarian scholar willing to confront controversial issues with honesty and clarity. The fact that he rejects the dumbest arguments that more naive racialists spout is a point to his credit, not evidence of political correctness.

  • Anna Tree

    Maybe you know about this:
    In the last 50 years, Russian scientists have made “dogs” from foxes: liveleak com/view?i=b30_1372049732