The chimpanzee is the closest living relative to modern humans and thus its genome holds a wealth of information about recent human history and biology. Although not a "model organism" in the classic sense of disease study, the chimpanzee genome can offer major insights into the genetic basis of human disease as well as understanding the mechanisms of evolution at work on the human genome.
The initial goal of the chimpanzee genome sequencing project was to produce a draft sequence of a male chimpanzee (named Clint). The project was undertaken as a collaborative effort of the Broad Institute and the Washington University Genome Sequencing Center (WUGSC) and has been used for an initial comparison with the human genome. The project also produced a large collection of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within and between western and central chimpanzee populations, which provide a genetic backdrop for the study of human population genetics.
Additional whole-genome shotgun sequence has subsequently been produced by our collaborators, and an updated genome assembly (PanTro2.1, 6X coverage) is available from established genome web browsers. A comprehensive BAC based physical map has also been produced.
Updated assembly and physical map information is available from WUGSC.