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Genetic markers in primate studies : elucidating behaviour and its evolution.

De Ruiter, J. R. (2004) 'Genetic markers in primate studies : elucidating behaviour and its evolution.', International journal of primatology., 25 (5). pp. 1173-1189.


The application of genetic techniques has provided valuable new insights into primate evolution and behavior. Important techniques include the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), where in exponential amounts of a target DNA sequence are produced via enzymatic amplification. This allows DNA to be analyzed from fecal droppings, which is particularly beneficial in field studies. Fragments containing hypervariable microsatellites can be amplified and subsequently typed. Also parts of the mitochondrial DNA can be amplified and subsequently sequenced. These methods have been applied with great success to determine familial relationships and, on a smaller scale, relationships among lineages and social groups, and the redefinition of the interface between social behavior, social structure and population genetics. Moreover, it has become possible, to a degree, to study genetic variation as it relates directly to adaptive evolution, as the maintenance of genetic variation has become accessible to analysis.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Evolution, Genetic analysis, Reproductive success, Relatedness.
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Record Created:01 Jun 2007
Last Modified:05 Aug 2010 16:45

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