Evolution of MHC genetic diversity: a tale of incest, pestilence and sexual preference

Wayne K. Potts, Edward K. Wakeland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

153 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Evidence from the house mouse (Mus) suggests that the extreme diversity of genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) results from three different forms of selection involving infectious disease (pestilence), inbreeding (incest) and MHC-based mating (sexual) preferences. MHC-based disassortative mating preferences are presumed to have evolved because they reduce homozygosity throughout the genome, and particularly within loci linked to the MHC. Progeny derived from such disassortative matings would enjoy increased fitness because of both reduced levels of inbreeding depression and increased resistance to infectious disease arising from their increased MHC heterozygosity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)408-412
Number of pages5
JournalTrends in Genetics
Volume9
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1993

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Incest
Major Histocompatibility Complex
Communicable Diseases
Inbreeding
Genome
Genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

Cite this

Evolution of MHC genetic diversity : a tale of incest, pestilence and sexual preference. / Potts, Wayne K.; Wakeland, Edward K.

In: Trends in Genetics, Vol. 9, No. 12, 1993, p. 408-412.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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