The genetic composition of populations of cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis) used in biomedical research

S. Kanthaswamy, J. Ng, J. S. Trask, D. A. George, A. J. Kou, L. N. Hoffman, T. B. Doherty, P. Houghton, D. G. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Background: The genetic composition of cynomolgus macaques used in biomedical research is not as well-characterized as that of rhesus macaques. Methods: Populations of cynomolgus macaques from Sumatra, Corregidor, Mauritius, Singapore, Cambodia, and Zamboanga were analyzed using 24 STRs. Results: The Sumatran and Cambodian populations exhibited the highest allelic diversity, while the Mauritian population exhibited the lowest. Sumatran cynomolgus macaques were the most genetically similar to all others, consistent with an Indonesian origin of the species. The high diversity among Cambodian animals may result from interbreeding with rhesus macaques. The Philippine and Mauritian samples were the most divergent from other populations, the former due to separation from the Sunda Shelf by deepwater and the latter due to anthropogenic translocation and extreme founder effects. Conclusions: Investigators should verify their research subjects' origin, ancestry, and pedigree to minimize risks to biomedical experimentation from genetic variance stemming from close kinship and mixed ancestry as these can obscure treatment effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-131
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Medical Primatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Drift
  • Founder effects
  • Genetic isolation
  • Inbreeding
  • Population structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Veterinary


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