The genetic code of chimpanzee's 22# chromosome has been deciphered. An international research collaboration team, formed by scientists from China, Japan and Germany, has finished the chromosome sequencing and comparative genomics analysis of chimpanzee's 22# chromosome with nearly three years' effort. It indicates that the comparative genomics research between human and chimpanzee has made a major breakthrough. The results were published in the internationally prestigious scientific publication Nature issued on May 27.
Chimpanzee is the closest "relative" of human being and its 22# chromosome is the counterpart of human's 21# chromosome. The deciphering of chimpanzee's 22# chromosome will be the important starting point for studying human evolution and advanced activity. In 2001 Chinese National Human Genome Research Center at Shanghai, as a key member from China, participated in the chimpanzee 22# chromosome sequencing international collaboration team, which were formed by scientists from China, Japan, Germany and South Korea.
In many people's impression as well as previous studies there has been a general agreement that the number of chimpanzee's genes is similar to that of human. However, scientists have discovered, after comparing chimpanzee's 22# chromosome and human's 21# chromosome, that the two have a 1.44 percent single base differentiation, far higher than previously reported; the inserting and INDEL of DNA segments are 68,000, which results in the length of human's 21# chromosome 400,000 base pairs higher than that of chimpanzee's 22# chromosome. While being a "relative" of human chimpanzee's gene number is far lower than that of human. The results imply that the common ancestor of human and chimpanzee might have even a longer chromosome. After the two differentiated chimpanzee missed more DNA segments than human did. This creative achievement provides a basic framework for further studying the forming of human "intelligence", the generating mechanisms of some diseases and the development of correspondent new drugs.
By People's Daily Online