News from IBE (CSIC-UPF)
An international team of scientists coordinated by Dr. Kim Worley and Dr. Jeffrey Rogers from the Baylor Human Genome Sequencing Center in Houston (USA) has completed the genome sequence of the common marmoset, a small primate. This is the first sequence of a native primate of the Americas (New World monkeys). In this paper two Spanish groups participated: the one directed by Carlos Lopez-Otin at the Institute of Oncology at the University of Oviedo, and the group of Tomás Marqués-Bonet at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF) in Barcelona. The study analyzed the genetic characteristics of the farthest branch of the human evolutionary tree of primates and complements those made in other closer as the orangutan or chimp, where these research groups also contributed.
The study, published in the journal Nature Genetics, provides new information about the physiology of the marmoset, including features such as small size and their particular reproductive system. Thus, this study reveals unique genetic features observed in the marmoset, as variants in different genes that might be related to the fact that marmosets are the smallest of all the primates. "It is well known that a small body size means higher metabolic requirements. Consistent with this biological principle, we have found genetic variants in the marmoset related to metabolic rate and body temperature regulation as well as various hormones and growth factors¨ said Dr. Kim Worley.
Worley et al. The Marmoset Genome, S., Analysis, C. 2014. The common marmoset genome provides insight into primate biology and evolution. Nature Genetics. Advance online publication: doi:10.1038/ng.3042.