Divergence population genetics of chimpanzees

Yong Jin Won, Jody Hey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

306 Scopus citations


The divergence of two subspecies of common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes and P. t. verus) and the bonobo (P. paniscus) was studied using a recently developed method for analyzing population divergence. Under the isolation with migration model, the posterior probability distributions of divergence time, migration rates, and effective population sizes were estimated for large multilocus DNA sequence data sets drawn from the literature. The bonobo and the common chimpanzee are estimated to have diverged approximately 0.86 to 0.89 MYA, and the divergence of the two common chimpanzee subspecies is estimated to have occurred 0.42 MYA. P. t. troglodytes appears to have had a larger effective population size (22,400 to 27,900) compared with P. paniscus, P. t. verus, and the ancestral populations of these species. No evidence of gene flow was found in the comparisons involving P. paniscus; however a clear signal of unidirectional gene flow was found from P. t. verus to P. t. troglodytes (2Nm = 0.51).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-307
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Biology and Evolution
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Bonobo
  • Chimpanzee
  • Gene flow
  • Markov chain Monte Carlo
  • Speciation


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