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

Wayne K. Potts, Edward K. Wakeland

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

157 Scopus citations

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 - Dec 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Evolution of MHC genetic diversity: a tale of incest, pestilence and sexual preference'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this