Human Genetics

, Volume 108, Issue 3, pp 249–254

Increased reproductive success of MHC class II heterozygous males among free-ranging rhesus macaques

  • Ulrike Sauermann
  • Peter Nürnberg
  • Fred Bercovitch
  • John Berard
  • Andrea Trefilov
  • Anja Widdig
  • Matt Kessler
  • Jörg Schmidtke
  • Michael Krawczak
Original Investigation

DOI: 10.1007/s004390100485

Cite this article as:
Sauermann, U., Nürnberg, P., Bercovitch, F. et al. Hum Genet (2001) 108: 249. doi:10.1007/s004390100485

Abstract.

Gene conversion and balancing selection have been invoked to explain the ubiquitous diversity of the antigen-presenting proteins encoded in the vertebrate major histocompatibility complex (MHC). In the present study, direct evidence for over-dominant selection promoting MHC diversity in primates is provided by the observation that, in a large free-ranging population of rhesus macaques, males heterozygous at MHC class II locus Mamu-DQB1 sired significantly more offspring than homozygotes (the male-specific selection coefficient s equals 0.34). This heterozygote advantage appeared to be independent of the actual male Mamu-DQB1 genotype. No similar effect emerged for a captive group of monkeys of similar genetic background but under veterinary care.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrike Sauermann
    • 1
  • Peter Nürnberg
    • 2
  • Fred Bercovitch
    • 3
  • John Berard
    • 3
  • Andrea Trefilov
    • 4
  • Anja Widdig
    • 2
  • Matt Kessler
    • 3
  • Jörg Schmidtke
    • 4
  • Michael Krawczak
    • 5
  1. 1.Deutsches Primatenzentrum, Arbeitsgruppe Primatengenetik, Kellnerweg 4, 37077 Göttingen,Germany
  2. 2.Institut für Medizinische Genetik, Universitätsklinikum Charité, 10098 Berlin, Germany
  3. 3.Caribbean Primate Research Center, University of Puerto Rico, PO Box 1053, Sabana Seca, Puerto Rico 00952, USA
  4. 4.Institut für Humangenetik, Medizinische Hochschule, 30623 Hannover, Germany
  5. 5.Institute of Medical Genetics, University of Wales College of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN, UK