Publication details

The role of major histocompatibility complex diversity in vigour of fish males (Abramis brama L.) and parasite selection



Year of publication 2007
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Zoology
Keywords DAB genes MHC polymorphism parasite-driven selection sexual ornamentation
Description The MHC presents a group of genes with highly polymorphic loci involved in specific immune response. The factors maintaining extensive MHC polymorphism have been questioned considering three possible hypotheses of parasite-mediated selection driving an extensive MHC diversity, i.e. heterozygote advantage, rare-allele advantage and favouring optimal MHC diversity. The patterns of MHC diversity of class IIB genes were investigated following two non-contradicting hypotheses: parasite-driven selection and MHC-based mating preferences, using males of common bream collected in the spawning period. Two allelic groups DAB1 and DAB3 were recognized from the phylogenetic analyses. Individuals expressed one or two alleles of the same or different allelic groups. Several individuals shared identical alleles, however, the presence of parasite species was not associated with the occurrence of a particular allele. The presence of different allelic groups (only DAB1, only DAB3 or both DAB1 and DAB3) in individuals was not associated with parasite presence or diversity. The expression of two DAB1 alleles was associated with higher endoparasite abundance. Moreover, nucleotide diversity in individuals expressing a single type of alleles (DAB1 or DAB3) increased with the abundance of ectoparasitic Dactylogyrus spp. (Monogenea) and Ergasilus sp. (Crustacea). This suggests that the expression of two alleles of a single allelic type is connected with high metazoan parasite infection whilst no significant influence of parasitism on the combined allelic form (the presence of both DAB1 and DAB3 alleles) was found. Moreover, the expression of two alleles of a single allelic type was connected with decreased immunocompetence measured by spleen size. The condition factor was higher in fish expressing the combined allelic type. Thus, the presence of alleles of different lineages in individuals seems to be advantageous for individual male fitness. The expression of a single allelic type was connected with higher sexual ornamentation, which could support the role of MHC in connection with hypothesis of sexual selection of good genes.
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.

More info