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Odour-based discrimination of similarity at the major histocompatibility complex in birds

Leclaire, Sarah; Strandh, Maria LU ; Mardon, Jérôme; Westerdahl, Helena LU and Bonadonna, Francesco (2017) In Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 284(1846).
Abstract

Many animals are known to preferentially mate with partners that are dissimilar at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in order to maximize the antigen binding repertoire (or disease resistance) in their offspring. Although several mammals, fish or lizards use odour cues to assessMHCsimilarity with potential partners, the ability of birds to assessMHC similarity using olfactory cues has not yet been explored. Here we used a behavioural binary choice test and high-throughput-sequencing of MHC class IIB to determine whether blue petrels can discriminate MHC similarity based on odour cues alone. Blue petrels are seabirds with particularly good sense of smell, they have a reciprocal mate choice and are known to preferentially mate... (More)

Many animals are known to preferentially mate with partners that are dissimilar at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in order to maximize the antigen binding repertoire (or disease resistance) in their offspring. Although several mammals, fish or lizards use odour cues to assessMHCsimilarity with potential partners, the ability of birds to assessMHC similarity using olfactory cues has not yet been explored. Here we used a behavioural binary choice test and high-throughput-sequencing of MHC class IIB to determine whether blue petrels can discriminate MHC similarity based on odour cues alone. Blue petrels are seabirds with particularly good sense of smell, they have a reciprocal mate choice and are known to preferentially mate withMHC-dissimilar partners. Incubating males preferentially approached the odour of the more MHC-dissimilar female, whereas incubating females showed opposite preferences. Given their mating pattern, females were, however, expected to show preference for the odour of the more MHC-dissimilar male. Further studies are needed to determine whether, as in women and female mice, the preference varies with the reproductive cycle in blue petrel females. Our results provide the first evidence that birds can use odour cues only to assess MHC dissimilarity

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organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Blue petrels, Major histocompatibility complex, Mate choice, Scent
in
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
volume
284
issue
1846
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • scopus:85011024418
  • wos:000393400500005
ISSN
0962-8452
DOI
10.1098/rspb.2016.2466
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5fa24999-174b-4051-9949-4d9ada71715f
date added to LUP
2017-02-28 14:31:19
date last changed
2018-01-07 11:53:09
@article{5fa24999-174b-4051-9949-4d9ada71715f,
  abstract     = {<p>Many animals are known to preferentially mate with partners that are dissimilar at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in order to maximize the antigen binding repertoire (or disease resistance) in their offspring. Although several mammals, fish or lizards use odour cues to assessMHCsimilarity with potential partners, the ability of birds to assessMHC similarity using olfactory cues has not yet been explored. Here we used a behavioural binary choice test and high-throughput-sequencing of MHC class IIB to determine whether blue petrels can discriminate MHC similarity based on odour cues alone. Blue petrels are seabirds with particularly good sense of smell, they have a reciprocal mate choice and are known to preferentially mate withMHC-dissimilar partners. Incubating males preferentially approached the odour of the more MHC-dissimilar female, whereas incubating females showed opposite preferences. Given their mating pattern, females were, however, expected to show preference for the odour of the more MHC-dissimilar male. Further studies are needed to determine whether, as in women and female mice, the preference varies with the reproductive cycle in blue petrel females. Our results provide the first evidence that birds can use odour cues only to assess MHC dissimilarity</p>},
  articleno    = {20162466},
  author       = {Leclaire, Sarah and Strandh, Maria and Mardon, Jérôme and Westerdahl, Helena and Bonadonna, Francesco},
  issn         = {0962-8452},
  keyword      = {Blue petrels,Major histocompatibility complex,Mate choice,Scent},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  number       = {1846},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences},
  title        = {Odour-based discrimination of similarity at the major histocompatibility complex in birds},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2016.2466},
  volume       = {284},
  year         = {2017},
}