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Spatial pattern of MHC class II variation in the great snipe (Gallinago media)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Population and Conservation Biology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Population and Conservation Biology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Population and Conservation Biology.
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2007 (English)In: Molecular Ecology, ISSN 0962-1083, E-ISSN 1365-294X, Vol. 16, no 7, 1439-1451 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) code for proteins involved in antigen recognition and triggering of the adaptive immune response, and are therefore likely to be under selection from parasites. These selection regimes may vary in space and time. Here we report a strong geographical structure in MHC class II B genes of a migrating bird, the great snipe (Gallinago media). Genetic differentiation in the MHC between two ecologically distinct distributional regions (Scandinavian mountain populations vs. East European lowland populations) was still present after statistically controlling for the effect of selectively neutral variation (microsatellites) using partial Mantel tests. This suggests a role for selection in generating this spatial structure and that it represents local adaptation to different environments. Differentiation between populations within the two regions was negligible. Overall, we found a high number of MHC alleles (50, from 175 individuals). This, together with a tendency for a higher rate of nonsynonymous than synonymous substitutions in the peptide binding sites, and high Tajima's D in certain regions of the gene, suggests a history of balancing selection. MHC variation is often thought to be maintained by some form of balancing selection, but the nature of this selection remains unclear. Our results support the hypothesis that spatial variation in selection regimes contributes to the high polymorphism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 16, no 7, 1439-1451 p.
Keyword [en]
balancing selection, DGGE, F ST, local adaptation, MHC Class II B, partial Mantel test
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92220DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2007.03281.xISI: 000245162700011PubMedID: 17391268OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-92220DiVA: diva2:165214
Available from: 2004-10-22 Created: 2004-10-22 Last updated: 2011-02-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Immunoecology of the Great Snipe (Gallinago media): Mate Choice, MHC Variation, and Humoral Immunocompetence in a Lekking Bird
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Immunoecology of the Great Snipe (Gallinago media): Mate Choice, MHC Variation, and Humoral Immunocompetence in a Lekking Bird
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

At the centre of the vertebrate immune system is a group of proteins called MHC (major histocompatibility complex) molecules. These function in self – non self recognition and activation of the immune defence against intruding parasites and pathogens. In this thesis I have investigated individual variation in MHC class II genes and antibody producing ability in relation to ecology and behaviour in the great snipe (Gallinago media), a lekking bird, breeding in northern Europe.

There was much variation in the MHC genes of the great snipe and the sequence data show that balancing selection has been acting on these genes. I found genetic differentiation in the MHC between two separate geographic regions of the great snipe distribution. Furthermore, this structure was more pronounced than that previously found in neutral genetic markers, suggesting that different selection pressures (possibly resulting from variation in parasitic fauna) are acting in these different regions.

The birds produced specific antibodies following injection with two novel antigens. Males that were chosen as mates, had higher antibody titers than their neighbouring males, suggesting that this ability may be important in female mate choice. Such choice could give the offspring an enhanced immune system or could favour females directly by avoidance of sexually transmitted diseases.

Females choosing to mate with a male having a different set of MHC genes than their own could give the offspring immune system the ability to react to a wide range of parasites. No such mate choice could, however, be found in the great snipe. Instead, females preferred males with certain MHC alleles, irrespective of their own MHC type. If those alleles confer resistance to parasites currently prevailing in the population, such resistance would be inherited by the offspring, thereby enhancing their fitness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2004. 55 p.
Series
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1104-232X ; 1022
Keyword
Biology, Behaviour, Major histocompatibility complex class II B, Sexual selection, Evolution, Leks, Biologi
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4585 (URN)91-554-6057-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-11-12, Zootissalen, EBC, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2004-10-22 Created: 2004-10-22 Last updated: 2009-03-31Bibliographically approved

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Ekblom, RobertJacobsson, PärSahlman, TobiasHöglund, Jacob

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