Chimpanzee genomic diversity reveals ancient admixture with bonobos

Marc De Manuel, Martin Kuhlwilm, Peter Frandsen, Vitor C Sousa, Tariq Desai, Javier Prado-Martinez, Jessica Hernandez-Rodriguez, Isabelle Dupanloup, Oscar Lao, Pille Hallast, Joshua M. Schmidt, José María Heredia-Genestar, Andrea Benazzo, Guido Barbujani, Benjamin M Peter, Lukas F.K. Kuderna, Ferran Casals, Samual Angedakin, Mimi Arandjelovic, Christophe BoeschHjalmar Kühl, Linda Vigilant, Kevin Langergraber, John Novembre, Marta Gut, Ivo Gut, Arcadi Navarro, Frands Carlsen, Aida M Andrés, Hans R. Siegismund, Aylwyn Scally, Laurent Excoffier, Chris Tyler-Smith, Sergi Castellano, Yali Xue, Christina Hvilsom, Tomàs Marquès-Bonet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Citations (Scopus)


Our closest living relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, have a complex demographic history. We analyzed the high-coverage whole genomes of 75 wild-born chimpanzees and bonobos from 10 countries in Africa. We found that chimpanzee population substructure makes genetic information a good predictor of geographic origin at country and regional scales. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that gene flow occurred from bonobos into the ancestors of central and eastern chimpanzees between 200,000 and 550,000 years ago, probably with subsequent spread into Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees. Together with another, possibly more recent contact (after 200,000 years ago), bonobos contributed less than 1% to the central chimpanzee genomes. Admixture thus appears to have been widespread during hominid evolution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-481
Number of pages5
Issue number6311
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2016


  • Chimpanzees
  • Bonobos


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