Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution in Primates

  • Atsushi Matsui
  • Masami Hasegawa
Part of the Primatology Monographs book series (PrimMono)


Primate evolution draws special attention because of its direct relevance to human origins. However, there are still several phylogenetic problems remaining among the primates. Recent molecular evolution studies using nuclear and mitochondrial DNA data seem to have established a consensus with respect to the phylogenetic positions of various primates. In addition, the presence/absence patterns of the short interspersed elements (SINE), which are regarded to be informative molecular cladistic markers, strongly supported the phylogenetic placement of several problematic species. Although the phylogenetic relationships of living primate species are relatively well established, the divergence times among them are still controversial. This controversy has arisen partly because different authors have used different molecular data with different methods and calibration points. Here, we review recent molecular phylogenetic studies of primates together with our own study. Furthermore, we compare and discuss the divergence times estimated for various primate species.


Mitochondrial Genome Sister Clade Sister Relationship Recent Molecular Study Hanuman Langur 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.





Million years ago


New World monkey


Old World monkey


Purines (adenine and guanine)


Ribosomal RNA


Short interspersed element


Pyrimidines (cytosine and thymine)


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© Springer 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Primate Research InstituteKyoto UniversityInuyamaJapan
  2. 2.School of Life SciencesFudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.The Institute of Statistical MathematicsTachikawa, TokyoJapan

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