Project information

MHC class IIB genes of European cyprinid fish: their genetic variability and evolution in relation to the host life-history traits and parasitism

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Project Identification
GA524/04/1128
Project Period
1/2004 - 12/2006
Investor / Pogramme / Project type
Czech Science Foundation
MU Faculty or unit
Faculty of Science
Keywords
MHC genes, cyprinid fish, evolution, parasitism

Analyses of the major histocompatibility complex genes (MHC) have been part of projects concerning not only the immune response of organisms to presence of pathogen. The MHC presents a group of genes of the highly polymorphic loci encoding the proteins that bind a peptide fragment derived from the foreign antigen and stimulate an immune response. Recently, the factors driving and maintaining the extensive MHC polymorphism have been questioned. The pathogen-driven balancing selection and MHC-dependent mating preferences leading to increase the offspring resistance present two non-contradictious hypotheses used to explain the great variability of MHC genes. As the central role of MHC molecules is antigen recognition, this could suggest pathogens as a selective agent. However, the support for the pathogen-mediated selection is still limited and indirect. The aims of the project will be to investigate the allelic variability of MHC class IIB genes in large range of central European cyprinid fish belonging to four subfamilies and phylogenetic analyses inferred from the exon 2 and exon 3. Using the different molecular methods permits to test the hypothesis of parasite-driven polymorphism of MHC genes and other hypotheses on the MHC evolution (trans-species hypothesis, the evolution of MHC diversity predating to speciation, the effect of different kind of selection on MHC sites) and allows us to perform comparative analyses to test the relationships between the genetic diversity of MHC and cyprinid life-history traits. The analyses of MHC are used to facilitate behavioural studies, mainly occurrence of MHC-dependent mating preferences favouring heterozygosity at MHC loci and providing overall parasite resistance in the offspring. In the present project, the relationship between variability of the MHC genes and the presence of male secondary sexual traits will be tested.

Publications

Total number of publications: 17


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