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Major histocompatibility complex genes partly explain early survival in house sparrows

Lukasch, B.; Westerdahl, H. LU ; Strandh, M. LU ; Knauer, F.; Winkler, H.; Moodley, Yoshan and Hoi, H (2017) In Scientific Reports 7(1).
Abstract

Environmental factors and genetic incompatibilities between parents have been suggested as important determinants for embryonic mortality and survival. The genetic set-up of the immune system, specifically the highly polymorphic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) may also influence individual resistance to infections. MHC proteins are important for an appropriate adaptive immune response and enable T-cells to separate 'self' from 'non-self'. Here we investigate the importance of MHC functional diversity for early development in birds, more specifically, if offspring survival and body mass or size depends on number of different functional MHC alleles, specific functional MHC alleles or similarity of MHC alleles in the parents.... (More)

Environmental factors and genetic incompatibilities between parents have been suggested as important determinants for embryonic mortality and survival. The genetic set-up of the immune system, specifically the highly polymorphic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) may also influence individual resistance to infections. MHC proteins are important for an appropriate adaptive immune response and enable T-cells to separate 'self' from 'non-self'. Here we investigate the importance of MHC functional diversity for early development in birds, more specifically, if offspring survival and body mass or size depends on number of different functional MHC alleles, specific functional MHC alleles or similarity of MHC alleles in the parents. Unhatched eggs are common in clutches of many bird species. In house sparrows (Passer domesticus), embryo and nestling mortality can exceed 50%. To control for environmental factors, our study was carried out on an aviary population. We found that one specific functional MHC allele was associated with reduced nestling survival, which was additionally supported by lower body mass and a smaller tarsus when nestlings have been 6 days old. Another allele was positively associated with tarsus length at a later nestling stage (nestlings 12 days old). These results indicate that MHC alleles might influence pathogen resistance or susceptibility.

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author
organization
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type
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publication status
published
subject
in
Scientific Reports
volume
7
issue
1
publisher
Nature Publishing Group
external identifiers
  • scopus:85026408646
  • wos:000406365300004
ISSN
2045-2322
DOI
10.1038/s41598-017-06631-z
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5c92c0d3-1d57-4316-98dd-678d0ea03e39
date added to LUP
2017-08-25 10:43:01
date last changed
2018-01-07 12:16:06
@article{5c92c0d3-1d57-4316-98dd-678d0ea03e39,
  abstract     = {<p>Environmental factors and genetic incompatibilities between parents have been suggested as important determinants for embryonic mortality and survival. The genetic set-up of the immune system, specifically the highly polymorphic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) may also influence individual resistance to infections. MHC proteins are important for an appropriate adaptive immune response and enable T-cells to separate 'self' from 'non-self'. Here we investigate the importance of MHC functional diversity for early development in birds, more specifically, if offspring survival and body mass or size depends on number of different functional MHC alleles, specific functional MHC alleles or similarity of MHC alleles in the parents. Unhatched eggs are common in clutches of many bird species. In house sparrows (Passer domesticus), embryo and nestling mortality can exceed 50%. To control for environmental factors, our study was carried out on an aviary population. We found that one specific functional MHC allele was associated with reduced nestling survival, which was additionally supported by lower body mass and a smaller tarsus when nestlings have been 6 days old. Another allele was positively associated with tarsus length at a later nestling stage (nestlings 12 days old). These results indicate that MHC alleles might influence pathogen resistance or susceptibility.</p>},
  articleno    = {6571},
  author       = {Lukasch, B. and Westerdahl, H. and Strandh, M. and Knauer, F. and Winkler, H. and Moodley, Yoshan and Hoi, H},
  issn         = {2045-2322},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  number       = {1},
  publisher    = {Nature Publishing Group},
  series       = {Scientific Reports},
  title        = {Major histocompatibility complex genes partly explain early survival in house sparrows},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-06631-z},
  volume       = {7},
  year         = {2017},
}