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Understanding the phylogeographic patterns of European hedgehogs, Erinaceus concolor and E. europaeus using the MHC.
Uppsala University, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Evolution, Genomics and Systematics. Uppsala University, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Evolution, Genomics and Systematics, Evolutionary Biology. Evolutionsbiologi. (Conservation genetics)
Uppsala University, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Evolution, Genomics and Systematics. Uppsala University, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Evolution, Genomics and Systematics, Evolutionary Biology. Evolutionsbiologi.
2005 (English)In: Heredity, ISSN 0018-067X, Vol. 95, no 1, 84-90 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The genome of the European hedgehog, Erinaceus concolor and E. europaeus, shows a strong signal of cycles of restriction to glacial refugia and postglacial expansion. Patterns of expansion, however, differ for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and preliminary analysis of nuclear markers. In this study, we determine phylogeographic patterns in the hedgehog using two loci of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), isolated for the first time in hedgehogs. These genes show long persistence times and high polymorphism in many species because of the actions of balancing selection. Among 84 individuals screened for variation, only two DQA alleles were identified in each species, but 10 DQB alleles were found in E. concolor and six in E. europaeus. A strong effect of demography on patterns of DQB variability is observed, with only weak evidence of balancing selection. While data from mtDNA clearly subdivide both species into monophyletic subgroups, the MHC data delineate only E. concolor into distinct subgroups, supporting the preliminary findings of other nuclear markers. Together with differences in variability, this suggests that the refugia history and/or expansion patterns of E. concolor and E. europaeus differ.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 95, no 1, 84-90 p.
Keyword [en]
Animals, DNA; Mitochondrial/*genetics, Europe, Genome, Geography, Hedgehogs/*classification/*genetics, Major Histocompatibility Complex, Movement, Phylogeny, Population Dynamics, Research Support; Non-U.S. Gov't, Selection (Genetics)
National Category
Genetics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-76386PubMedID: 16077505OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-76386DiVA: diva2:104298
Available from: 2006-03-02 Created: 2006-03-02 Last updated: 2011-01-11
In thesis
1. Evolution of MHC Genes and MHC Gene Expression
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evolution of MHC Genes and MHC Gene Expression
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Polymorphism in coding regions and regions controlling gene expression is the major determinant of adaptive differences in natural populations. Genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) possess a high level of genetic variation, which is maintained by selection over long coalescence times. MHC genes encode antigen-presenting molecules in the adaptive immune system, which protects the host from infectious diseases. However, MHC molecules may also present self-peptides and for most autoimmune diseases there is a genetic factor associated with the MHC.

MHC genes have been used to learn about the interplay of selection and historical population events. In domestic dogs and their progenitor, the wolf, I explored factors associated with domestication and breed formation and their influence not only on MHC coding regions but also on the haplotypic structure of the class II region. Polymorphism and strong selection was demonstrated in the proximal promoters of MHC genes in dogs and wolves. Hence, genetic variation associated with MHC gene expression may have at least equal importance for a well functioning immune system. Associations between promoter sequences and particular coding alleles suggested allele-specific expression patterns. SNP haplotypes of the MHC class II region revealed ancestral as well as convergent haplotypes, in which combinations of alleles are kept by selection. Interestingly, weaker allelic associations were found between different genes and between coding regions and promoters in dogs compared to wolves. Potentially, this could cause insufficient defense against infections and predispose dogs to autoimmune diseases. For example, I identified a site in the promoter region that showed a consistent difference between haplotypes conferring susceptibility and protection to diabetes in dogs, which should be investigated further.

Furthermore, I investigated how selection and demographic changes associated with glacial and inter-glacial periods have affected MHC variation in European hedgehogs and extended the prevailing knowledge concerning their population history.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2010. 69 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 736
Keyword
major histocompatibilty complex, dog leukocyte antigen, balancing selection, linkage disequilibrium, promoter, diabetes mellitus, Canis familiaris, Canis lupus, Erinaceus europaeus, Erinaceus concolor
National Category
Genetics
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Evolutionary Genetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-122011 (URN)978-91-554-7792-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-05-21, Evolutionsbiologiskt centrum, Zootissalen, Villavägen 9, Uppsala, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-04-29 Created: 2010-04-05 Last updated: 2010-04-29Bibliographically approved

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Ellegren, H

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