Genetica

, 138:265

Mhc class II diversity and balancing selection in greater prairie-chickens

  • John A. Eimes
  • Jennifer L. Bollmer
  • Peter O. Dunn
  • Linda A. Whittingham
  • Charles Wimpee
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10709-009-9417-4

Cite this article as:
Eimes, J.A., Bollmer, J.L., Dunn, P.O. et al. Genetica (2010) 138: 265. doi:10.1007/s10709-009-9417-4

Abstract

The major histocompatibility complex (Mhc) of domestic chickens has been characterized as small and relatively simple compared with that of mammals. However, there is growing evidence that the Mhc of many bird lineages may be more complex, even within the Order Galliformes. In this study, we measured genetic variation and balancing selection at Mhc loci in another galliform, the greater prairie-chicken. We cloned and sequenced a 239 bp fragment of Mhc Class II β-chain (BLB) exon 2 in 14 individuals. There was a total of 10 unique sequences and a minimum of four BLB loci. The dN/dS ratio at peptide-binding codons was significantly greater than one, suggesting balancing selection is acting on the BLB. We also recovered two YLB sequences, which clustered tightly with YLB sequences from three other species: domestic chicken, black grouse and common quail. The relatively large number of loci revealed in our study suggests that even closely related galliforms differ in the level of Mhc variation and structure.

Keywords

MhcBLB and YLB LociGreater prairie-chickensBalancing selection

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • John A. Eimes
    • 1
  • Jennifer L. Bollmer
    • 1
  • Peter O. Dunn
    • 1
  • Linda A. Whittingham
    • 1
  • Charles Wimpee
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA