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Characterization of MHC class I and II genes in a subantarctic seabird, the blue petrel, Halobaena caerulea (Procellariiformes)

Strandh, Maria LU ; Lannefors, Mimi; Bonadonna, Francesco and Westerdahl, Helena LU (2011) In Immunogenetics 63(10). p.653-666
Abstract
The great polymorphism observed in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes is thought to be maintained by pathogen-mediated selection possibly combined with MHC-disassortative mating, guided by MHC-determined olfactory cues. Here, we partly characterize the MHC class I and II B of the blue petrel, Halobaena caerulea (Procellariiformes), a bird with significant olfactory abilities that lives under presumably low pathogen burdens in Subantarctica. Blue petrels are long-lived, monogamous birds which suggest the necessity of an accurate mate choice process. The species is ancestral to songbirds (Passeriformes; many MHC loci), although not to gamefowls (Galliformes; few MHC loci). Considering the phylogenetic relationships and the low... (More)
The great polymorphism observed in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes is thought to be maintained by pathogen-mediated selection possibly combined with MHC-disassortative mating, guided by MHC-determined olfactory cues. Here, we partly characterize the MHC class I and II B of the blue petrel, Halobaena caerulea (Procellariiformes), a bird with significant olfactory abilities that lives under presumably low pathogen burdens in Subantarctica. Blue petrels are long-lived, monogamous birds which suggest the necessity of an accurate mate choice process. The species is ancestral to songbirds (Passeriformes; many MHC loci), although not to gamefowls (Galliformes; few MHC loci). Considering the phylogenetic relationships and the low subantarctic pathogen burden, we expected few rather than many MHC loci in the blue petrel. However, when we analysed partial MHC class I and class II B cDNA and gDNA sequences we found evidence for as many as at least eight MHC class I loci and at least two class II B loci. These class I and II B sequences showed classical MHC characteristics, e.g. high nucleotide diversity, especially in putative peptide-binding regions where signatures of positive selection was detected. Trans-species polymorphism was found between MHC class II B sequences of the blue petrel and those of thin-billed prion, Pachyptila belcheri, two species that diverged similar to 25 MYA. The observed MHC allele richness in the blue petrel may well serve as a basis for mate choice, especially since olfactory discrimination of MHC types may be possible in this species. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Major histocompatibility complex, Class I, Class II B, Diversity, Selection, Aves
in
Immunogenetics
volume
63
issue
10
pages
653 - 666
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000294801800004
  • scopus:80155164025
ISSN
1432-1211
DOI
10.1007/s00251-011-0534-8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0e90840d-6a4b-4fb2-b0df-80e32dd35196 (old id 2186939)
date added to LUP
2011-10-24 12:35:55
date last changed
2017-11-19 03:57:25
@article{0e90840d-6a4b-4fb2-b0df-80e32dd35196,
  abstract     = {The great polymorphism observed in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes is thought to be maintained by pathogen-mediated selection possibly combined with MHC-disassortative mating, guided by MHC-determined olfactory cues. Here, we partly characterize the MHC class I and II B of the blue petrel, Halobaena caerulea (Procellariiformes), a bird with significant olfactory abilities that lives under presumably low pathogen burdens in Subantarctica. Blue petrels are long-lived, monogamous birds which suggest the necessity of an accurate mate choice process. The species is ancestral to songbirds (Passeriformes; many MHC loci), although not to gamefowls (Galliformes; few MHC loci). Considering the phylogenetic relationships and the low subantarctic pathogen burden, we expected few rather than many MHC loci in the blue petrel. However, when we analysed partial MHC class I and class II B cDNA and gDNA sequences we found evidence for as many as at least eight MHC class I loci and at least two class II B loci. These class I and II B sequences showed classical MHC characteristics, e.g. high nucleotide diversity, especially in putative peptide-binding regions where signatures of positive selection was detected. Trans-species polymorphism was found between MHC class II B sequences of the blue petrel and those of thin-billed prion, Pachyptila belcheri, two species that diverged similar to 25 MYA. The observed MHC allele richness in the blue petrel may well serve as a basis for mate choice, especially since olfactory discrimination of MHC types may be possible in this species.},
  author       = {Strandh, Maria and Lannefors, Mimi and Bonadonna, Francesco and Westerdahl, Helena},
  issn         = {1432-1211},
  keyword      = {Major histocompatibility complex,Class I,Class II B,Diversity,Selection,Aves},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {10},
  pages        = {653--666},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Immunogenetics},
  title        = {Characterization of MHC class I and II genes in a subantarctic seabird, the blue petrel, Halobaena caerulea (Procellariiformes)},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00251-011-0534-8},
  volume       = {63},
  year         = {2011},
}