Linkage analysis of HSP70 genes and historecognition locus in Botryllus schlosseri
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The protochordate allorecognition system has long invited comparison with the vertebrate major histocompatibility complex (MHC). In the colonial species Botryllus schlosseri, a rapid fusion or rejection response resembling graft acceptance or rejection in vertebrates is controlled by a single highly polymorphic genetic region. Because linkage between heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) genes and the MHC appears to be conserved within the vertebrate lineage, linkage relationships between two HSP70 genes (HSP70.1 and HSP70.2) and the historecognition locus (FuHC) have been analyzed in B. schlosseri. Segregation patterns of restriction fragment length polymorphisms located in the 3′ flanking regions of HSP70.1 and HSP70.2 were determined for progeny of defined crosses. These progeny were also analyzed for fusibility type by an in vivo cut colony assay. No close linkage was detected between any of the three loci. These results do not support the hypothesis that the allorecognition response in B. schlosseri is determined by an MHC homologue. However, it remains a possibility that orthologues of other MHC-linked genes will be linked to the B. schlosseri FuHC.
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