Limited MHC polymorphism in the southern elephant seal: Implications for MHC evolution and marine mammal population biology

Slade R.W. (1992) Limited MHC polymorphism in the southern elephant seal: Implications for MHC evolution and marine mammal population biology. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 249 1325: 163-171. doi:10.1098/rspb.1992.0099


Author Slade R.W.
Title Limited MHC polymorphism in the southern elephant seal: Implications for MHC evolution and marine mammal population biology
Journal name Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0962-8452
Publication date 1992-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1098/rspb.1992.0099
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 249
Issue 1325
Start page 163
End page 171
Total pages 9
Publisher Royal Society
Subject 1100 Agricultural and Biological Sciences
1101 Medical Biochemistry and Metabolomics
Abstract Genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are highly polymorphic in most terrestrial mammal populations so far studied. Exceptions to this are typically populations that lack genome-wide diversity. Here I show that two populations of the southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) have low DNA restriction fragment length polymorphism at MHC loci when compared with terrestrial mammals. Limited studies on MHC polymorphism in two cetacean species suggest this is a feature of marine mammal populations in general. MHC polymorphism is thought to be maintained by balancing selection, and several types of disease-based and reproductive-based mechanisms have been proposed. For the three marine mammal species examined, the low MHC polymorphism cannot be explained by low genome-wide diversity, or by any reproductive-based selection pressure. It can, however, be explained by diminished exposure to pathogenic selection pressure compared with terrestrial mammals. Reduced exposure to pathogens would also mean that marine mammal populations may be susceptible to occasional pathogen-induced mass mortalities.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Scopus Import - Archived
 
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