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Allelic variation at innate immune genes (avian beta-defensins), within a natural population of great tits

Hellgren, Olof LU (2015) In Journal of Avian Biology 46(1). p.113-118
Abstract
In order to fully understand pathogen induced natural variation in fitness in wild animal populations it is important to identify and study the degree of non-synonymous alleles in genes that code for components of the immune system. This study investigates the degree of natural genetic variation at 6 innate immune genes belonging to the -defensin family within a single population of birds, the great tits Parus major. In 40 adult individuals, all belonging to the same local population in Wytham Woods, Oxford, UK, screened across 6 different -defensin genes, all but one individual showed non-synonymous heterozygosity within the exon coding for the mature defensin peptide. The non-synonomous variation was thus associated with the part of the... (More)
In order to fully understand pathogen induced natural variation in fitness in wild animal populations it is important to identify and study the degree of non-synonymous alleles in genes that code for components of the immune system. This study investigates the degree of natural genetic variation at 6 innate immune genes belonging to the -defensin family within a single population of birds, the great tits Parus major. In 40 adult individuals, all belonging to the same local population in Wytham Woods, Oxford, UK, screened across 6 different -defensin genes, all but one individual showed non-synonymous heterozygosity within the exon coding for the mature defensin peptide. The non-synonomous variation was thus associated with the part of the defensin gene that directly interacts with potential pathogens. Within the sample, 31 different genotypes were identified across the 6 different loci. Much of the found allelic variation affected the amino acid composition, which in turn alter the net charge and hydrophilicity of the produced peptide; properties associated with the efficiency of binding to and rupture pathogens. This study demonstrates that non-synonymous genetic variation exists at -defensins genes, a part of the immune system that forms an important first line of defence against various pathogens. Understanding the degree of underlying genetic variation at different parts of the immune system will help achieve a holistic view of the reasons behind individual variation in pathogen susceptibility, as well as why individuals are affected differently once they become infected. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Avian Biology
volume
46
issue
1
pages
113 - 118
publisher
Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
external identifiers
  • wos:000349082800014
  • scopus:84923054605
ISSN
0908-8857
DOI
10.1111/jav.00370
project
Malaria in birds
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
dbae35fc-217d-4778-89f6-a0634ade0d86 (old id 5194648)
date added to LUP
2015-03-27 12:16:06
date last changed
2017-10-01 03:21:30
@article{dbae35fc-217d-4778-89f6-a0634ade0d86,
  abstract     = {In order to fully understand pathogen induced natural variation in fitness in wild animal populations it is important to identify and study the degree of non-synonymous alleles in genes that code for components of the immune system. This study investigates the degree of natural genetic variation at 6 innate immune genes belonging to the -defensin family within a single population of birds, the great tits Parus major. In 40 adult individuals, all belonging to the same local population in Wytham Woods, Oxford, UK, screened across 6 different -defensin genes, all but one individual showed non-synonymous heterozygosity within the exon coding for the mature defensin peptide. The non-synonomous variation was thus associated with the part of the defensin gene that directly interacts with potential pathogens. Within the sample, 31 different genotypes were identified across the 6 different loci. Much of the found allelic variation affected the amino acid composition, which in turn alter the net charge and hydrophilicity of the produced peptide; properties associated with the efficiency of binding to and rupture pathogens. This study demonstrates that non-synonymous genetic variation exists at -defensins genes, a part of the immune system that forms an important first line of defence against various pathogens. Understanding the degree of underlying genetic variation at different parts of the immune system will help achieve a holistic view of the reasons behind individual variation in pathogen susceptibility, as well as why individuals are affected differently once they become infected.},
  author       = {Hellgren, Olof},
  issn         = {0908-8857},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {113--118},
  publisher    = {Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Avian Biology},
  title        = {Allelic variation at innate immune genes (avian beta-defensins), within a natural population of great tits},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jav.00370},
  volume       = {46},
  year         = {2015},
}