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Open Access Genetic Characterization of Indian–Origin and Chinese–Origin Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta)

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Genetic differences between Indian-origin and Chinese-origin rhesus macaques are as great as those between some primate species and can influence the results of experiments in which both are used as animal models for the study of the same human diseases. Unfortunately, many breeding facilities do not know with certainty the origin of the founders of their rhesus breeding colonies. Here I summarize the most definitive of the genetic traits among the microsatellite (STR) loci and mitochondrial DNA sequences that my laboratory previously reported to characterize Indian-origin and Chinese-origin rhesus macaques and then estimate the frequencies of these traits and their reliability as indicators of country of origin. The expression of diagnostic traits at two or more of four different unlinked loci provides a nearly 100% reliability in distinguishing rhesus macaques of Indian and Chinese origin.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Molecular Anthropology Laboratory, Department of Anthropology and California National Primate Research Center, University of California, Davis, California 95616

Publication date: 2005-06-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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