Rapid Identification of Major Histocompatibility Complex Class I Haplotypes Using Deep Sequencing in an Endangered Old World Monkey.
ABSTRACT: Immunogenetic data from wild primate populations have been difficult to obtain, due to logistic and methodological constraints. We applied a well-characterized deep sequencing method for MHC I typing, developed for macaques, to a population of wild red colobus to assess the feasibility of identifying MHC I-A/B haplotypes. Ten individuals produced sufficient data from blood and tissue samples to assign haplotypes. Eighty-two sequences were classified as red colobus MHC I alleles distributed across six MHC I loci. Individuals averaged ~13k reads across six MHC I loci, with 83% of all alleles representing either MHC I-A or MHC I-B loci. This study not only represents an important advance in the identification and genotyping of MHC in the endangered red colobus but also shows the potential for using this approach in other endangered wild primates.
Project description:Few studies have combined genetic association analyses with functional characterization of infection-associated SNPs in natural populations of nonhuman primates. Here, we investigate the relationship between host genetic variation, parasitism and natural selection in a population of red colobus (Procolobus rufomitratus tephrosceles) in Kibale National Park, Uganda. We collected parasitological, cellular and genomic data to test the following hypotheses: (i) MHC-DQA1 regulatory genetic variation is associated with control of whipworm (Trichuris) infection in a natural population of red colobus; (ii) infection-associated SNPs are functional in driving differential gene expression in vitro; and (iii) balancing selection has shaped patterns of variation in the MHC-DQA1 promoter. We identified two SNPs in the MHC-DQA1 promoter, both in transcription factor binding sites, and both of which are associated with decreased control of Trichuris infection. We characterized the function of both SNPs by testing differences in gene expression between the two alleles of each SNP in two mammalian cell lines. Alleles of one of the SNPs drove differential gene expression in both cell lines, while the other SNP drove differences in expression in one of the cell lines. Additionally, we found evidence of balancing selection acting on the MHC-DQA1 promoter, including extensive trans-species polymorphisms between red colobus and other primates, and an excess of intermediate-frequency alleles relative to genome-wide, coding and noncoding RADseq data. Our data suggest that balancing selection provides adaptive regulatory flexibility that outweighs the consequences of increased parasite infection intensity in heterozygotes.
Project description:The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is crucial to the adaptive immune response of vertebrates and is among the most polymorphic gene families known. Its high diversity is usually attributed to selection imposed by fast-evolving pathogens. Pathogens are thought to evolve to escape recognition by common immune alleles, and, hence, novel MHC alleles, introduced through mutation, recombination, or gene flow, are predicted to give hosts superior resistance. Although this theoretical prediction underpins host-pathogen "Red Queen" coevolution, it has not been demonstrated in the context of natural MHC diversity. Here, we experimentally tested whether novel MHC variants (both alleles and functional "supertypes") increased resistance of guppies (Poecilia reticulata) to a common ectoparasite (Gyrodactylus turnbulli). We used exposure-controlled infection trials with wild-sourced parasites, and Gyrodactylus-naïve host fish that were F2 descendants of crossed wild populations. Hosts carrying MHC variants (alleles or supertypes) that were new to a given parasite population experienced a 35-37% reduction in infection intensity, but the number of MHC variants carried by an individual, analogous to heterozygosity in single-locus systems, was not a significant predictor. Our results provide direct evidence of novel MHC variant advantage, confirming a fundamental mechanism underpinning the exceptional polymorphism of this gene family and highlighting the role of immunogenetic novelty in host-pathogen coevolution.
Project description:High rates of gene duplication and the highest levels of functional allelic diversity in vertebrate genomes are the main hallmarks of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), a multigene family with a primordial role in pathogen recognition. The usual tight linkage among MHC gene duplicates may provide an opportunity for the evolution of haplotypes that associate functionally divergent alleles and thus grant the transmission of optimal levels of diversity to coming generations. Even though such associations may be a crucial component of disease resistance, this hypothesis has been given little attention in wild populations. Here, we leveraged pedigree data from a barn owl (Tyto alba) population to characterize MHC haplotype structure across two MHC class I (MHC-I) and two MHC class IIB (MHC-IIB) duplicates, in order to test the hypothesis that haplotypes' genetic diversity is higher than expected from randomly associated alleles. After showing that MHC loci are tightly linked within classes, we found limited evidence for shifts towards MHC haplotypes combining high diversity. Neither amino acid nor functional within-haplotype diversity were significantly higher than in random sets of haplotypes, regardless of MHC class. Our results therefore provide no evidence for selection towards high-diversity MHC haplotypes in barn owls. Rather, high rates of concerted evolution may constrain the evolution of high-diversity haplotypes at MHC-I, while, in contrast, for MHC-IIB, fixed differences among loci may provide barn owls with already optimized functional diversity. This suggests that at the MHC-I and MHC-IIB respectively, different evolutionary dynamics may govern the evolution of within-haplotype diversity.
Project description:Investigating adaptive potential and understanding the relative roles of selection and genetic drift in populations of endangered species are essential in conservation. Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes characterized by spectacular polymorphism and fitness association have become valuable adaptive markers. Herein we investigate the variation of all MHC class I and II genes across seven populations of an endangered bird, the crested ibis, of which all current individuals are offspring of only two pairs. We inferred seven multilocus haplotypes from linked alleles in the Core Region and revealed structural variation of the class II region that probably evolved through unequal crossing over. Based on the low polymorphism, structural variation, strong linkage, and extensive shared alleles, we applied the MHC haplotypes in population analysis. The genetic variation and population structure at MHC haplotypes are generally concordant with those expected from microsatellites, underlining the predominant role of genetic drift in shaping MHC variation in the bottlenecked populations. Nonetheless, some populations showed elevated differentiation at MHC, probably due to limited gene flow. The seven populations were significantly differentiated into three groups and some groups exhibited genetic monomorphism, which can be attributed to founder effects. We therefore propose various strategies for future conservation and management.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The LEI0258 marker is located within the B region of the chicken Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC), and is surprisingly well associated with serology. Therefore, the correlation between the LEI0258 alleles and the MHC class I and the class II alleles at the level of sequences is worth investigating in chickens. Here we describe to which extent the LEI0258 alleles are associated with alleles of classical class I genes and non-classical class II genes, in reference animals as well as local breeds with unknown MHC haplotypes. METHODS:For the class I region, in an exploratory project, we studied 10 animals from 3 breeds: Rhode Island Red, White Leghorn and Fayoumi chickens, by cloning and sequencing B-F1 and B-F2 cDNA from exon 1 to 3'UTR. For the class II region, we reconstructed haplotypes of the 8.8 kb genomic region encompassing three non-classical class II genes: B-DMA, B-DMB1 and B-DMB2, for 146 animals from more than 50 breeds including wild species of jungle fowls. RESULTS:Overall we found that the LEI0258 marker genotypes gave good indications of the MHC haplotypes, and a very good predictions (>0.95) of the heterozygosity of an animal at the MHC locus. CONCLUSIONS:Our results show that the LEI0258 alleles are strongly associated with haplotypes of classical class I genes and non-classical class II genes, unravelling the reasons why this marker is becoming the reference marker for MHC genotyping in chickens.
Project description:African non-human primates are SIV natural hosts and do not develop disease following infection. Understanding disease avoidance mechanisms in these species is important for HIV vaccine development. The largest captive population of sooty mangabeys, a SIV natural host species, resides at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center.Thirteen primer sets that amplify polymorphic microsatellite loci within the MHC region were used to genotype 144 animals. Immunogenetic Management Software (IMS) was used to identify MHC haplotypes and organize data.Seventy-three haplotypes were identified. Limited haplotype diversity was observed in this population with 88.2% of included animals carrying one of 18 haplotypes. Differences in haplotype frequency were observed between SIV (+) and SIV (-) populations.We have developed a novel tool for others to use in the analysis of the role of the MHC in a natural host non-human primate model species used for SIV research.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Small, isolated populations often experience loss of genetic variation due to random genetic drift. Unlike neutral or nearly neutral markers (such as mitochondrial genes or microsatellites), major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes in these populations may retain high levels of polymorphism due to balancing selection. The relative roles of balancing selection and genetic drift in either small isolated or bottlenecked populations remain controversial. In this study, we examined the mechanisms maintaining polymorphisms of MHC genes in small isolated populations of the endangered golden snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) by comparing genetic variation found in MHC and microsatellite loci. There are few studies of this kind conducted on highly endangered primate species. RESULTS:Two MHC genes were sequenced and sixteen microsatellite loci were genotyped from samples representing three isolated populations. We isolated nine DQA1 alleles and sixteen DQB1 alleles and validated expression of the alleles. Lowest genetic variation for both MHC and microsatellites was found in the Shennongjia (SNJ) population. Historical balancing selection was revealed at both the DQA1 and DQB1 loci, as revealed by excess non-synonymous substitutions at antigen binding sites (ABS) and maximum-likelihood-based random-site models. Patterns of microsatellite variation revealed population structure. FST outlier analysis showed that population differentiation at the two MHC loci was similar to the microsatellite loci. CONCLUSIONS:MHC genes and microsatellite loci showed the same allelic richness pattern with the lowest genetic variation occurring in SNJ, suggesting that genetic drift played a prominent role in these isolated populations. As MHC genes are subject to selective pressures, the maintenance of genetic variation is of particular interest in small, long-isolated populations. The results of this study may contribute to captive breeding and translocation programs for endangered species.
Project description:Studies of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) diversity in non-model vertebrates typically focus on structure and sequence variation in the antigen-presenting loci: the highly variable and polymorphic class I and class IIB genes. Although these studies provide estimates of the number of genes and alleles/locus, they often overlook variation in functionally related and co-inherited genes important in the immune response. This study utilizes the sequence of the MHC B-locus derived from a commercial turkey to investigate MHC variation in wild birds. Sequences were obtained for nine interspersed MHC amplicons (non-class I/II) from each of 40 birds representing 3 subspecies of wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo). Analysis of aligned sequences identified 238 single-nucleotide variants approximately one-third of which had minor allele frequencies >0.2 in the sampled birds. PHASE analysis identified 70 prospective MHC haplotypes in the wild turkeys, whereas a combined analysis with commercial birds identified almost 100 haplotypes in the species. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of the class IIB loci was used to test the efficacy of single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) haplotyping to capture locus-wide variation. Diversity in SNP haplotypes and haplotype sharing among individuals was directly reflected in the DGGE patterns. Utilization of a reference haplotype to sequence interspersed regions of the MHC has significant advantages over other methods of surveying diversity while identifying high-frequency SNPs for genotyping. SNP haplotyping provides a means to identify both divergent haplotypes and homozygous individuals for assessment of immunological variation in wild and domestic populations.
Project description:The genomic sequences of 15 horse major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I genes and a collection of MHC class I homozygous horses of five different haplotypes were used to investigate the genomic structure and polymorphism of the equine MHC. A combination of conserved and locus-specific primers was used to amplify horse MHC class I genes with classical and nonclassical characteristics. Multiple clones from each haplotype identified three to five classical sequences per homozygous animal and two to three nonclassical sequences. Phylogenetic analysis was applied to these sequences, and groups were identified which appear to be allelic series, but some sequences were left ungrouped. Sequences determined from MHC class I heterozygous horses and previously described MHC class I sequences were then added, representing a total of ten horse MHC haplotypes. These results were consistent with those obtained from the MHC homozygous horses alone, and 30 classical sequences were assigned to four previously confirmed loci and three new provisional loci. The nonclassical genes had few alleles and the classical genes had higher levels of allelic polymorphism. Alleles for two classical loci with the expected pattern of polymorphism were found in the majority of haplotypes tested, but alleles at two other commonly detected loci had more variation outside of the hypervariable region than within. Our data indicate that the equine major histocompatibility complex is characterized by variation in the complement of class I genes expressed in different haplotypes in addition to the expected allelic polymorphism within loci.
Project description:There are currently no nonhuman primate models with fully defined major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II genetics. We recently showed that six common MHC haplotypes account for essentially all MHC diversity in cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis) from the island of Mauritius. In this study, we employ complementary DNA cloning and sequencing to comprehensively characterize full length MHC class II alleles expressed at the Mafa-DPA, -DPB, -DQA, -DQB, -DRA, and -DRB loci on the six common haplotypes. We describe 34 full-length MHC class II alleles, 12 of which are completely novel. Polymorphism was evident at all six loci including DPA, a locus thought to be monomorphic in rhesus macaques. Similar to other Old World monkeys, Mauritian cynomolgus macaques (MCM) share MHC class II allelic lineages with humans at the DQ and DR loci, but not at the DP loci. Additionally, we identified extensive sharing of MHC class II alleles between MCM and other nonhuman primates. The characterization of these full-length-expressed MHC class II alleles will enable researchers to generate MHC class II transferent cell lines, tetramers, and other molecular reagents that can be used to explore CD4+ T lymphocyte responses in MCM.