, Volume 67, Issue 11–12, pp 705–710 | Cite as

Isolation and characterization of major histocompatibility complex class II B genes in cranes

  • Tetsuo I. Kohyama
  • Takuya Akiyama
  • Chizuko Nishida
  • Kazutoshi Takami
  • Manabu Onuma
  • Kunikazu Momose
  • Ryuichi MasudaEmail author
Short Communication


In this study, we isolated and characterized the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II B genes in cranes. Genomic sequences spanning exons 1 to 4 were amplified and determined in 13 crane species and three other species closely related to cranes. In all, 55 unique sequences were identified, and at least two polymorphic MHC class II B loci were found in most species. An analysis of sequence polymorphisms showed the signature of positive selection and recombination. A phylogenetic reconstruction based on exon 2 sequences indicated that trans-species polymorphism has persisted for at least 10 million years, whereas phylogenetic analyses of the sequences flanking exon 2 revealed a pattern of concerted evolution. These results suggest that both balancing selection and recombination play important roles in the crane MHC evolution.


Aves Concerted evolution Gruiformes MHC Trans-species polymorphism 



We thank Tama Zoological Park, Hirakawa Zoological Park, Fukuoka Municipal Zoological and Botanical Gardens, Maruyama Zoo, Osaka Municipal Tennoji Zoological Gardens, Sayama Chikozan Park Children’s Zoo, Kushiro Zoo, Inokashira Park Zoo, Ueno Zoological Gardens, Nogeyama Zoological Gardens of Yokohama, and Chiba Zoological Park for providing samples, and Dr. Matthew Dick and Masahito T. Kimura for invaluable comments and English editing of the manuscript. This study was supported in part by a grant (D-1201) from the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan, and a research grant from the Akiyama Life Science Foundation.

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (PDF 2.22 mb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tetsuo I. Kohyama
    • 1
  • Takuya Akiyama
    • 1
  • Chizuko Nishida
    • 1
  • Kazutoshi Takami
    • 2
  • Manabu Onuma
    • 3
  • Kunikazu Momose
    • 4
  • Ryuichi Masuda
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Natural History Sciences, Faculty of ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  2. 2.Osaka Municipal Tennoji Zoological GardensOsakaJapan
  3. 3.Ecological Genetics Analysis Section, Center for Environmental Biology and Ecosystem StudiesNational Institute for Environmental StudiesTsukubaJapan
  4. 4.Red-crowned Crane ConservancyKushiroJapan

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