Publication details

MHC variability, life-traits and parasite diversity of European cyprinid fish



Year of publication 2006
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Evolutionary Ecology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Zoology
Keywords MHC diversity; exon 2; metazoan parasites; cyprinid fish; life history traits
Description Potential links between fish life history traits, an immune investment as measured by variability of the MHC genes and parasitism were analysed in 14 species of cyprinid fish. The hypothesis of the diversity of MHC genes being driven by high parasite diversity, i.e. species richness, was tested and a potential relationship between the MHC diversity and fish life-history traits including adult mortality rate, fecundity, longevity and maturity was investigated. Molecular techniques (SSCP and sequencing) were applied to analyse the MHC nucleotide diversity of the exons 2 and 3 of DAB genes belonging to the MHC class IIB. The comparative analyses, using phylogenetic independent contrasts, revealed a negative relationship between parasite species richness and adult fish mortality rate. We also found a positive relationship between nucleotide diversity of the exon 2 and parasite species richness. Our results suggest that fish species, of which populations are exposed to high parasite pressure, in terms of high parasite species richness, maintain a high genetic diversity of the exon 2 of the MHC genes (presenting the peptide binding regions), allowing them to decrease their natural mortality rate.
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