Evolutionary adaptation of chacma baboons

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  • REHABS International Research Lab South Afrrica
  • virginie.rougeron@cnrs.fr
  • 06 46 64 23 18

More information about the project

Chacma baboon

@ E. Huchard

Evolutionary adaptation of chacma baboons diet to anthropogenic environments


To survive and reproduce, all living organisms must adjust and inevitably adapt to conditions imposed on them by their environments. Human activities, particularly urbanization, are probably the most important drivers of contemporary evolution to which wild animals had to adapt. This urbanization process is highly associated to the modification of the distribution and the composition of food resources to which inevitably wild animals have to adapt to survive. Today, the phenotypic changes in wild organisms in response to this novel environment have been deeply studied, but the extent to which wild animals genetically adapted to this new urban diet is unknown. In this context, the goal of the GEDI project is to get a better understanding of the genetic basis of the diet adaptation that enable wild animals to become successful species in urban environment, which is a key question in the study of animal evolution and conservation. Here, we will collect 400 fecal samples of chacma baboons (200 in the city of George and 200 in the Garden Route National Park), a primate species extremely well adapted to urban settings in South Africa. After defining the diet composition of urban versus wild samples through the combination of stable isotopic analysis and DNA metabarcoding approaches, full genomes of chacma baboons will be sequenced in order to study the population genetic and explore specific genomic features that allowed this primate species to get so well adapted to urban settings. Finally, we will evaluate the impact of such new urban diet on chacma baboons’ health. Through this scientific diversity and complementarity, this project will provide the breeding ground to study diet adaptations of wild animals in urban environments and give new clues for conservation strategies. @font-face {font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;}@font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536859905 -1073697537 9 0 511 0;}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman",serif; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language:ZH-CN;}.MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:11.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:11.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}.MsoPapDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; margin-bottom:10.0pt; line-height:115%;}div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;}


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Photos legend : Cebus Olivera, French Guiana. @B. De Thoisy

Chacma baboons diet evolutionary adaptation

Collaborators involved

franck prugnolle crees researcher cnrs



(DR1, MIVEGEC, France), an evolutionary biologist and geneticist, help in data analysis and publication writing.
researcher arnathau celine



(IE, MiVEGEC, France), specialist in molecular biology and Plasmodium, be in charge of the molecular bench-work.