Human Genetics

, Volume 108, Issue 3, pp 249–254

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

Authors

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