Kopp, Gisela H.
Alu insertion polymorphisms shared by Papio baboons and Theropithecus gelada reveal an intertwined common ancestry
2019, Walker, Jerilyn A., Jordan, Vallmer E., Storer, Jessica M., Steely, Cody J., Gonzalez-Quiroga, Paulina, Beckstrom, Thomas O., Batzer, Mark A., Kopp, Gisela H., Noll, Angela, Roos, Christian
Baboons (genus Papio) and geladas (Theropithecus gelada) are now generally recognized as close phylogenetic relatives, though morphologically quite distinct and generally classified in separate genera. Primate specific Alu retrotransposons are well-established genomic markers for the study of phylogenetic and population genetic relationships. We previously reported a computational reconstruction of Papio phylogeny using large-scale whole genome sequence (WGS) analysis of Alu insertion polymorphisms. Recently, high coverage WGS was generated for Theropithecus gelada. The objective of this study was to apply the high-throughput "poly-Detect" method to computationally determine the number of Alu insertion polymorphisms shared by T. gelada and Papio, and vice versa, by each individual Papio species and T. gelada. Secondly, we performed locus-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays on a diverse DNA panel to complement the computational data.
Out of Africa, but how and when? : The case of hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas)
2014-11, Kopp, Gisela H., Roos, Christian, Butynski, Thomas M., Wildman, Derek E., Alagaili, Abdulaziz N., Groeneveld, Linn F., Zinner, Dietmar
Many species of Arabian mammals are considered to be of Afrotropical origin and for most of them the Red Sea has constituted an obstacle for dispersal since the Miocene-Pliocene transition. There are two possible routes, the 'northern' and the 'southern', for terrestrial mammals (including humans) to move between Africa and Arabia. The 'northern route', crossing the Sinai Peninsula, is confirmed for several taxa by an extensive fossil record, especially from northern Egypt and the Levant, whereas the 'southern route', across the Bab-el-Mandab Strait, which links the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden, is more controversial, although post-Pliocene terrestrial crossings of the Red Sea might have been possible during glacial maxima when sea levels were low. Hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas) are the only baboon taxon to disperse out of Africa and still inhabit Arabia. In this study, we investigate the origin of Arabian hamadryas baboons using mitochondrial sequence data from 294 samples collected in Arabia and Northeast Africa. Through the analysis of the geographic distribution of genetic diversity, the timing of population expansions, and divergence time estimates combined with palaeoecological data, we test: (i) if Arabian and African hamadryas baboons are genetically distinct; (ii) if Arabian baboons exhibit population substructure; and (iii) when, and via which route, baboons colonized Arabia. Our results suggest that hamadryas baboons colonized Arabia during the Late Pleistocene (130-12 kya [thousands of years ago]) and also moved back to Africa. We reject the hypothesis that hamadryas baboons were introduced to Arabia by humans, because the initial colonization considerably predates the earliest records of human seafaring in this region. Our results strongly suggest that the 'southern route' from Africa to Arabia could have been used by hamadryas baboons during the same time period as proposed for modern humans.
Insights into the genetic foundation of aggression in Papio and the evolution of two length-polymorphisms in the promoter regions of serotonin-related genes (5-HTTLPR and MAOALPR) in Papionini
2016-12, Kalbitzer, Urs, Roos, Christian, Kopp, Gisela H., Butynski, Thomas M., Knauf, Sascha, Zinner, Dietmar, Fischer, Julia
Aggressive behaviors are an integral part of competitive interactions. There is considerable variation in aggressiveness among individuals both within and among species. Aggressiveness is a quantitative trait that is highly heritable. In modern humans and macaques (Macaca spp.), variation in aggressiveness among individuals is associated with polymorphisms in the serotonergic (5-HT) neurotransmitter system. To further investigate the genetics underlying interspecific variation in aggressiveness, 123 wild individuals from five baboon species (Papio papio, P. hamadryas, P. anubis, P. cynocephalus, and P. ursinus) were screened for two polymorphisms in promoter regions of genes relevant for the 5-HT system (5-HTTLPR and MAOALPR).
The Influence of Social Systems on Patterns of Mitochondrial DNA Variation in Baboons
2014, Kopp, Gisela H., Ferreira da Silva, Maria J., Fischer, Julia, Brito, José Carlos, Regnaut, Sebastian, Roos, Christian, Zinner, Dietmar
Behavior is influenced by genes but can also shape the genetic structure of natural populations. Investigating this link is of great importance because behavioral processes can alter the genetic diversity on which selection acts. Gene flow is one of the main determinants of the genetic structure of a population and dispersal is the behavior that mediates gene flow. Baboons (genus Papio) are among the most intensely studied primate species and serve as a model system to investigate the evolution of social systems using a comparative approach. The general mammalian pattern of male dispersal and female philopatry has thus far been found in baboons, with the exception of hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas). As yet, the lack of data on Guinea baboons (Papio papio) creates a taxonomic gap in genus-wide comparative analyses. In our study we investigated the sex-biased dispersal pattern of Guinea baboons in comparison to hamadryas, olive, yellow, and chacma baboons using sequences of the maternally transmitted mitochondrial hypervariable region I. Analyzing whole-range georeferenced samples (N = 777), we found strong evidence for female-biased gene flow in Guinea baboons and confirmed this pattern for hamadryas baboons, as shown by a lack of genetic-geographic structuring. In addition, most genetic variation was found within and not among demes, in sharp contrast to the pattern observed in matrilocal primates including the other baboon taxa. Our results corroborate the notion that the Guinea baboons' social system shares some important features with that of hamadryas baboons, suggesting similar evolutionary forces have acted to distinguish them from all other baboons.
Population genetic insights into the social organization of Guinea baboons (Papio papio) : Evidence for female-biased dispersal
2015-08, Kopp, Gisela H., Fischer, Julia, Patzelt, Annika, Roos, Christian, Zinner, Dietmar
Sex differences in philopatry and dispersal have important consequences on the genetic structure of populations, social groups, and social relationships within groups. Among mammals, male dispersal and female philopatry are most common and closely related taxa typically exhibit similar dispersal patterns. However, among four well-studied species of baboons, only hamadryas baboons exhibit female dispersal, thus differing from their congenerics, which show female philopatry and close-knit female social relationships. Until recently, knowledge of the Guinea baboon social system and dispersal pattern remained sparse. Previous observations suggested that the high degree of tolerance observed among male Guinea baboons could be due to kinship. This led us to hypothesize that this species exhibits male philopatry and female dispersal, conforming to the hamadryas pattern. We genotyped 165 individuals from five localities in the Niokolo-Koba National Park, Senegal, at 14 autosomal microsatellite loci and sequenced a fragment of the mitochondrial hypervariable region I (HVRI) of 55 individuals. We found evidence for higher population structuring in males than in females, as expected if males are the more philopatric sex. A comparison of relatedness between male-male and female-female dyads within and among communities did not yield conclusive results. HVRI diversity within communities was high and did not differ between the sexes, also suggesting female gene flow. Our study is the first comprehensive analysis of the genetic population structure in Guinea baboons and provides evidence for female-biased dispersal in this species. In conjunction with their multilevel social organization, this finding parallels the observations for human hunter-gatherers and strengthens baboons as an intriguing model to elucidate the processes that shaped the highly cooperative societies of Homo.