Genetic studies on the Cayo Santiago rhesus macaques: A review of 40 years of research

  title={Genetic studies on the Cayo Santiago rhesus macaques: A review of 40 years of research},
  author={Anja Widdig and Matthew J Kessler and Fred B. Bercovitch and John D. Berard and Christine R. Duggleby and Peter J. N{\"u}rnberg and Richard G. Rawlins and Ulrike Sauermann and Qian Wang and Michael Krawczak and J{\"o}rg Schmidtke},
  journal={American Journal of Primatology},
Genetic studies not only contribute substantially to our current understanding of the natural variation in behavior and health in many species, they also provide the basis of numerous in vivo models of human traits. Despite the many challenges posed by the high level of biological and social complexity, a long lifespan and difficult access in the field, genetic studies of primates are particularly rewarding because of the close evolutionary relatedness of these species to humans. The free… 

Population Genetic Structure of the Cayo Santiago Colony of Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta).

Estimates show that a high effective number of founders has affected the colony's current genetic structure in a positive manner, and show that the social groups have not differentiated genetically from each other due to male-mediated gene flow and exhibit sufficient genetic variation.

Recent insights into the evolution of quantitative traits in non-human primates.

  • L. Hlusko
  • Biology
    Current opinion in genetics & development
  • 2018

Genomic resources for rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)

  • J. Rogers
  • Biology
    Mammalian genome : official journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society
  • 2022
A number of information resources that can provide interested researchers with access to genetic and genomic data describing the content of the rhesus macaque genome, available information regarding genetic variation within the species, results from studies of gene expression, and other aspects of genomic analysis are discussed.

The ontogeny of sexual dimorphism in free-ranging rhesus macaques.

The ontogeny of size dimorphism in rhesus macaques is achieved by bimaturism and a faster male growth rate, as an outcome of sex-specific growth strategies, and these results provide new data for understanding the development and complexities of primateDimorphism.

Genetic correlations in the rhesus macaque dentition.

Free‐ranging Cayo Santiago rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta): III. Dental eruption patterns and dental pathology

Overall, CS rhesus had good oral health and dental condition although tooth wear, loss, and breakage were common in aged animals, especially in males.

Age and sex-associated variation in the multi-site microbiome of an entire social group of free-ranging rhesus macaques

Across all three body regions, with notable exceptions in the penile microbiome, while infants were distinctly different from other age groups, microbiomes of adults were relatively invariant, even in advanced age, suggesting that age-related microbiome variation seen in humans may be related to changes in diet and lifestyle.

Individual dispersal decisions affect fitness via maternal rank effects in male rhesus macaques

The timing of natal dispersal was affected by maternal rank and influenced male reproduction, which, in turn affected which group males dispersed to, and confirmed earlier findings that sons of high-ranking mothers dispersed later than sons of low-ranking ones.

Sex Differences in the Development of Aggressive Behavior in Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta)

This work analyzed aggressive interactions in rhesus macaques from birth to sexual maturation (before male dispersal), including male and female focal subjects, and used powerful multivariate statistical analysis.



The genetics of a wild population of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). I. Genetic variability within and between social groups

It is suggested that the social structure of such primates will not itself produce the high levels of homozygosity necessary for rapid speciation, but it will make such levels more likely in the event of geographical or ecological isolation.

Genetic influence on reproductive behavior in female rhesus macaques.

Although the study of Cherkas et al. (2004) was the first to demonstrate a genetic basis for infidelity and sexual partner number in humans, substantial evidence for the heritability of these traits in animals, particularly birds and rodents, has already been reported.

Genetics of a wild population of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta): II. The Dunga Gali population in species-wide perspective.

Only 3-9% of the total gene diversity of Macaca mulatta can be attributed to differences among major regions, and selection and drift/migration models explain this general genetic homogeneity.

Molecular genetic approaches to the study of primate behavior, social organization, and reproduction.

  • A. Di Fiore
  • Biology
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 2003
This review describes the theoretical connections between individual behavior and primate social systems on the one hand and population genetic structure on the other, discusses the kinds of molecular markers typically employed in genetic studies of primates, and summarizes what primatologists have learned from molecular studies over the past few decades.

Genetic determination of paternity and variation in male reproductive success in two populations of rhesus macaques

Comparison of two populations of rhesus macaques indicated that demographic, social, ecological, and morphological factors interact to regulate variation in reproductive success among male nonhuman primates.

Female Age of First Reproduction at Cayo Santiago: Heritability and Shared Environments

Age of first reproduction (AFR) in female primates is widely documented to vary among population members and to correlate with population density and social dominance, which points to common environmental effects, rather than inter-matriline genetic differences, as the primary causes of rank-related variation in AFR.

Male migration and inbreeding avoidance in wild rhesus monkeys

Genetic, demographic, and behavioral evidence from a population of wild rhesus monkeys were analyzed and groups were not found to be inbred, indicating high gene flow between groups and avoidance of consanguineous matings throughout the population.

The genetic consequences of primate social organization: a review of macaques, baboons and vervet monkeys

Electrophoretic analyses of blood proteins from individually recognized and/or marked wild Himalayan rhesus monkeys have begun to reveal the genetic consequences of such phenomena as social group fission, malelimited dispersion, non-consanguineous mating patterns, and agonistically defined male dominance.


  • S. Altmann
  • Biology
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
  • 1962
This first report covers aspects of methods of research, group composition and its stability, repertoire of social behavior, sexual behavior, and agonistic behavior of rhesus monkeys on Cay0 Santiago, Puerto Rico, a small island in the West Indies.

Paternity assessment in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta): Multilocus DNA fingerprinting and PCR marker typing

A dual approach to DNA typing has been adopted, using STR markers to reduce the number of potential sires to a level where all remaining candidates can be tested by multilocus DNA fingerprinting on a single gel, preferably in lanes adjacent to the mother/infant pair.