Mating patterns in seminatural populations of mice influenced by MHC genotype

Wayne K. Potts, C. Jo Manning, Edward K. Wakeland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

BECAUSE of the central role of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes in immune recognition1-3, it is often assumed that parasite-driven selection maintains the unprecendented genetic diversity of these genes4-7. But associations between MHC genotype and specific infectious diseases have been difficult to identify8,9 with a few exceptions such as Marek's disease10 and malaria11. Alternatively, MHC-related reproductive mechanisms such as selective abortion12-15 and mating preferences16,17 could be responsible for the diversity. To determine both the nature and strength of selection operating on MHC genes by we have studied components of selection in seminatural populations of mice (Mus musculus domesticus). Here we assess MHC-related patterns of reproduction and early (preweaning) mortality by analysing 1,139 progeny born in nine populations, and 662 progeny from laboratory matings. Reproductive mechanisms, primarily mating preferences, result in 27% fewer MHC-homozygous offspring than expected from random mating. MHC genotype had no detectable influence on neonatal (preweaning) mortality. These mating preferences are strong enough to account for most of the MHC genetic diversity found in natural populations of Mus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-621
Number of pages3
JournalNature
Volume352
Issue number6336
StatePublished - Aug 15 1991

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Major Histocompatibility Complex
Genotype
Population
Infant Mortality
Genes
Reproduction
Communicable Diseases
Parasites
Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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Mating patterns in seminatural populations of mice influenced by MHC genotype. / Potts, Wayne K.; Manning, C. Jo; Wakeland, Edward K.

In: Nature, Vol. 352, No. 6336, 15.08.1991, p. 619-621.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Potts, WK, Manning, CJ & Wakeland, EK 1991, 'Mating patterns in seminatural populations of mice influenced by MHC genotype', Nature, vol. 352, no. 6336, pp. 619-621.
Potts, Wayne K. ; Manning, C. Jo ; Wakeland, Edward K. / Mating patterns in seminatural populations of mice influenced by MHC genotype. In: Nature. 1991 ; Vol. 352, No. 6336. pp. 619-621.
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