Microsatellite DNA variation in Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus)
Warren, K.S.; Nijmian, I.J.; Lenstra, J.A.; Swan, R.A.; Heriyanto; den Boer, M.
Journal of Medical Primatology 29(2): 57-62
Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra are considered two separate subspecies. However, the genetic relationships between isolated populations on Borneo are not clear. This study determined the extent of variation within the Bornean subspecies of orangutan, using microsatellite DNA analysis. Blood samples were collected from 96 individuals of known origin from East, West and Central Kalimantan. Human microsatellite primer pairs located at human map position D2S141, D4S431, D 11S925, D16S420 and D17S791 were suitable for use in primates. D4S431 appeared monomorphic for all orangutans. In three cases (D2S141 East and West and D16S420 West), a highly significant excess of homozygous allele frequencies was detected, but with other primer pairs no significant difference in allele frequencies occurred. We conclude that the divergence between the different populations on Borneo is less than the variation within the populations. There was also evidence that inbreeding occurred within the populations.