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Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) markers in conservation biology

Ujvari, Beata and Belov, Katherine 2011, Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) markers in conservation biology, International journal of molecular sciences, vol. 12, no. 8, pp. 5168-5186, doi: 10.3390/ijms12085168.

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Title Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) markers in conservation biology
Author(s) Ujvari, BeataORCID iD for Ujvari, Beata orcid.org/0000-0003-2391-2988
Belov, Katherine
Journal name International journal of molecular sciences
Volume number 12
Issue number 8
Start page 5168
End page 5186
Total pages 19
Publisher Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publication date 2011
ISSN 1422-0067
Keyword(s) Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC)
conservation biology
genetic rescue
captive breeding
Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)
Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD)
next-generation sequencing
Summary Human impacts through habitat destruction, introduction of invasive species and climate change are increasing the number of species threatened with extinction. Decreases in population size simultaneously lead to reductions in genetic diversity, ultimately reducing the ability of populations to adapt to a changing environment. In this way, loss of genetic polymorphism is linked with extinction risk. Recent advances in sequencing technologies mean that obtaining measures of genetic diversity at functionally important genes is within reach for conservation programs. A key region of the genome that should be targeted for population genetic studies is the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC). MHC genes, found in all jawed vertebrates, are the most polymorphic genes in vertebrate genomes. They play key roles in immune function via immune-recognition and -surveillance and host-parasite interaction. Therefore, measuring levels of polymorphism at these genes can provide indirect measures of the immunological fitness of populations. The MHC has also been linked with mate-choice and pregnancy outcomes and has application for improving mating success in captive breeding programs. The recent discovery that genetic diversity at MHC genes may protect against the spread of contagious cancers provides an added impetus for managing and protecting MHC diversity in wild populations. Here we review the field and focus on the successful applications of MHC-typing for conservation management. We emphasize the importance of using MHC markers when planning and executing wildlife rescue and conservation programs but stress that this should not be done to the detriment of genome-wide diversity.
Language eng
DOI 10.3390/ijms12085168
Field of Research 069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30063808

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Open Access Collection
Centre for Integrative Ecology
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.