Leibniz Institute For Primatenforschung

Göttingen, Germany

Leibniz Institute For Primatenforschung

Göttingen, Germany
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PubMed | Leibniz Institute For Primatenforschung, Naturhistorisches Museum Bern, Federal University of Sergipe, University of Western Australia and 22 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Science advances | Year: 2017

Nonhuman primates, our closest biological relatives, play important roles in the livelihoods, cultures, and religions of many societies and offer unique insights into human evolution, biology, behavior, and the threat of emerging diseases. They are an essential component of tropical biodiversity, contributing to forest regeneration and ecosystem health. Current information shows the existence of 504 species in 79 genera distributed in the Neotropics, mainland Africa, Madagascar, and Asia. Alarmingly, ~60% of primate species are now threatened with extinction and ~75% have declining populations. This situation is the result of escalating anthropogenic pressures on primates and their habitats-mainly global and local market demands, leading to extensive habitat loss through the expansion of industrial agriculture, large-scale cattle ranching, logging, oil and gas drilling, mining, dam building, and the construction of new road networks in primate range regions. Other important drivers are increased bushmeat hunting and the illegal trade of primates as pets and primate body parts, along with emerging threats, such as climate change and anthroponotic diseases. Often, these pressures act in synergy, exacerbating primate population declines. Given that primate range regions overlap extensively with a large, and rapidly growing, human population characterized by high levels of poverty, global attention is needed immediately to reverse the looming risk of primate extinctions and to attend to local human needs in sustainable ways. Raising global scientific and public awareness of the plight of the worlds primates and the costs of their loss to ecosystem health and human society is imperative.


PubMed | Leibniz Institute For Primatenforschung, University of Heidelberg, Keio University, Central Institute for Experimental Animals and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Developmental cell | Year: 2015

Naive pluripotency is manifest in the preimplantation mammalian embryo. Here we determine transcriptome dynamics of mouse development from the eight-cell stage to postimplantation using lineage-specific RNA sequencing. This method combines high sensitivity and reporter-based fate assignment to acquire the full spectrum of gene expression from discrete embryonic cell types. We define expression modules indicative of developmental state and temporal regulatory patterns marking the establishment and dissolution of naive pluripotency invivo. Analysis of embryonic stem cells and diapaused embryos reveals near-complete conservation of the core transcriptional circuitry operative in the preimplantation epiblast. Comparison to inner cell masses of marmoset primate blastocysts identifies a similar complement of pluripotency factors but use of alternative signaling pathways. Embryo culture experiments further indicate that marmoset embryos utilize WNT signaling during early lineage segregation, unlike rodents. These findings support a conserved transcription factor foundation for naive pluripotency while revealing species-specific regulatory features of lineage segregation.


Kanber D.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Buiting K.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Roos C.,Leibniz Institute For Primatenforschung | Gromoll J.,Universitatsklinikum Munster | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

The human RB1 gene is imprinted due to a differentially methylated CpG island in intron 2. This CpG island is part of PPP1R26P1, a truncated retrocopy of PPP1R26, and serves as a promoter for an alternative RB1 transcript. We show here by in silico analyses that the parental PPP1R26 gene is present in the analysed members of Haplorrhini, which comprise Catarrhini (Old World Monkeys, Small apes, Great Apes and Human), Platyrrhini (New World Monkeys) and tarsier, and Strepsirrhini (galago). Interestingly, we detected the retrocopy, PPP1R26P1, in all Anthropoidea (Catarrhini and Platyrrhini) that we studied but not in tarsier or galago. Additional retrocopies are present in human and chimpanzee on chromosome 22, but their distinct composition indicates that they are the result of independent retrotransposition events. Chimpanzee and marmoset have further retrocopies on chromosome 8 and chromosome 4, respectively. To examine the origin of the RB1 imprint, we compared the methylation patterns of the parental PPP1R26 gene and its retrocopies in different primates (human, chimpanzee, orangutan, rhesus macaque, marmoset and galago). Methylation analysis by deep bisulfite sequencing showed that PPP1R26 is methylated whereas the retrocopy in RB1 intron 2 is differentially methylated in all primates studied. All other retrocopies are fully methylated, except for the additional retrocopy on marmoset chromosome 4, which is also differentially methylated. Using an informative SNP for the methylation analysis in marmoset, we could show that the differential methylation pattern of the retrocopy on chromosome 4 is allele-specific. We conclude that the epigenetic fate of a PPP1R26 retrocopy after integration depends on the DNA sequence and selective forces at the integration site. © 2013 Kanber et al.


Boroviak T.,University of Cambridge | Loos R.,European Bioinformatics Institute | Lombard P.,University of Cambridge | Okahara J.,Central Institute for Experimental Animals | And 9 more authors.
Developmental Cell | Year: 2015

Naive pluripotency is manifest in the preimplantation mammalian embryo. Here we determine transcriptome dynamics of mouse development from the eight-cell stage to postimplantation using lineage-specific RNA sequencing. This method combines high sensitivity and reporter-based fate assignment to acquire the full spectrum of gene expression from discrete embryonic cell types. We define expression modules indicative of developmental state and temporal regulatory patterns marking the establishment and dissolution of naive pluripotency in vivo. Analysis of embryonic stem cells and diapaused embryos reveals near-complete conservation of the core transcriptional circuitry operative in the preimplantation epiblast. Comparison to inner cell masses of marmoset primate blastocysts identifies a similar complement of pluripotency factors but use of alternative signaling pathways. Embryo culture experiments further indicate that marmoset embryos utilize WNT signaling during early lineage segregation, unlike rodents. These findings support a conserved transcription factor foundation for naive pluripotency while revealing species-specific regulatory features of lineage segregation. © 2015 The Authors.


Shiina T.,Tokai University | Kono A.,Tokai University | Westphal N.,Leibniz Institute For Primatenforschung | Suzuki S.,Tokai University | And 5 more authors.
Immunogenetics | Year: 2011

Common marmoset monkeys (Callithrix jacchus) have emerged as important animal models for biomedical research, necessitating a more extensive characterization of their major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region. However, the genomic information of the marmoset MHC (Caja) is still lacking. The MHC-B/C segment represents the most diverse MHC region among primates. Therefore, in this paper, to elucidate the detailed gene organization and evolutionary processes of the Caja class I B (Caja-B) segment, we determined two parts of the Caja-B sequences with 1,079 kb in total, ranging from H6orf15 to BAT1 and compared the structure and phylogeny with that of other primates. This segment contains 54 genes in total, nine Caja-B genes (Caja-B1 to Caja-B9), two MIC genes (MIC1 and MIC2), eight non-MHC genes, two non-coding genes, and 33 non-MHC pseudogenes that have not been observed in other primate MHC-B/C segments. Caja-B3, Caja-B4, and Caja-B7 encode proper MHC class I proteins according to amino acid structural characteristics. Phylogenetic relationships based on 48 MHC-I nucleotide sequences in primates suggested (1) species-specific divergence for Caja, Mamu, and HLA/Patr/Gogo lineages, (2) independent generation of the "seven coding exon" type MHC-B genes in Mamu and HLA/Patr/Gogo lineages from an ancestral "eight coding exon" type MHC-I gene, (3) parallel correlation with the long and short segmental duplication unit length in Caja and Mamu lineages. These findings indicate that the MHC-B/C segment has been under permanent selective pressure in the evolution of primates. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Boucherie P.H.,CNRS Hubert Curien Multi-disciplinary Institute | Mariette M.M.,Deakin University | Bret C.,Leibniz Institute For Primatenforschung | Dufour V.,CNRS Hubert Curien Multi-disciplinary Institute
Behaviour | Year: 2016

The formation of social bonds outside the mated pair is not frequently reported in monogamous birds, although it may be expected in some species like rooks, living in groups all year round. Here we explore the social structure of captive adult rooks over three breeding seasons. We recorded proximities and affiliations (i.e., allofeeding, allopreening, contact-sit) to classify relationships according to their strength. Three categories of relationships emerged: primary (i.e., pairs), secondary and weak relationships. Affiliations and sexual behaviours were not restricted to pairs, and secondary relationships were clearly recognizable. Mixed-sex secondary relationships were qualitatively equivalent to pairs (i.e., same behaviours in the same proportions), although they were quantitatively less intense. Same sex pairs occurred, and were qualitatively equivalent to mixedsex pairs. Overall we found that rooks social structure is more than just an aggregation of pairs, which highlights the importance of considering extra-pair relationships in socially monogamous birds. © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2016.


Muller N.,University of Gottingen | Ostner J.,University of Gottingen | Schulke O.,University of Gottingen | Walter L.,Leibniz Institute For Primatenforschung
American Journal of Primatology | Year: 2014

The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays an important role in the immune response and may thus crucially affect an individual's fitness, relevant also for studies on evolutionary ecology and wildlife conservation. Detailed knowledge on the genomic organization, polymorphism and diversity of the MHC has a narrow taxonomic focus though and among macaques is only available for rhesus and long-tailed macaques-the species most commonly kept for biomedical research. The lack of data on wild populations is largely due to the difficulty of obtaining blood or tissue samples necessary for genotyping approaches. Here, we aimed at analyzing MHC-DRB from non-invasively collected fecal samples in wild Assamese macaques (Macaca assamensis), utilizing the MHC-DRB-STR (D6S2878) microsatellite marker. Due to the fecal DNA source incomplete genotypes occurred, which may be improved in the future by method refinement. We detected 28 distinct DRB-STR lengths in 43 individuals with individual genotypes containing 1-9 MHC-DRB-STRs and defined four haplotypes segregating between families in Mendelian fashion. Our results indicate that variability and diversity of MHC-DRB in Assamese macaques is comparable to that of other macaque species and importantly, that fecal samples can be used for non-invasive analysis of MHC genes after refinement of the applied methods, opening a number of opportunities for MHC research on natural populations. Am. J. Primatol. 9999:1-9, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Walter L.,Leibniz Institute For Primatenforschung
Journal of Innate Immunity | Year: 2011

Human natural killer (NK) cell receptors are known to be highly polymorphic, to show complex genetics and to be associated with susceptibility to a variety of immunological diseases. Nonhuman primates are used as important models of these diseases, yet the knowledge of nonhuman primate NK cell receptors and ligands is not as advanced as in humans. Recently published data indicated that diversity and polymorphism of NK cell receptors are similar between nonhuman primates and humans. Comparative genomics revealed instructive insights into the evolution and function of primate NK cell receptor genes and contributed to the understanding of how present-day NK cell receptors and their ligands have evolved. Here, I review the current knowledge of nonhuman primate NK cell receptors that interact with major histocompatibility complex class I proteins. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.


Zinner D.,Leibniz Institute For Primatenforschung | Roos C.,Leibniz Institute For Primatenforschung
BioSpektrum | Year: 2013

In contrast to plants, natural hybridization in primates (and other animals) was believed to be a marginal phenomenon, which in most cases led to an evolutionary "dead end". Recent molecular studies, however, provide strong evidence that hybridization occurred in all major primate lineages regularly - even in the human lineage. These findings broaden our understanding of evolutionary process of speciation and may also be of particular relevance for the use of primate models in biomedical research. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Petersen B.,Leibniz Institute For Primatenforschung | Walter L.,Leibniz Institute For Primatenforschung
BioSpektrum | Year: 2016

Natural killer (NK) lymphocytes kill infected and tumorous cells. A balance of stimulatory and inhibitory receptor signals determine their activity. The most important NK cell receptors are the polymorphic killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR), which bind to HLA class I molecules on target cells. The enormous genetic and genomic diversity of the KIR/HLA system influences the susceptibility to various diseases. Here, we will give an overview of this system and its impact on HIV infection. © 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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