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MHC class IIB additive and non-additive effects on fitness measures in the guppy Poecilia reticulata

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Abstract:

The genetic architecture of fitness at the class IIB gene of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in the guppy Poecilia reticulata was analysed. Diversity at the MHC is thought to be maintained by some form of balancing selection; heterozygote advantage, frequency-dependent selection or spatially and temporally fluctuating selection. Here these hypotheses are evaluated by using an algorithm that partitions the effect of specific MHC allele and genotypes on fitness measures. The effect of MHC genotype on surrogate measures of fitness was tested, including growth rate (at high and low bulk food diets), parasite load following a parasite challenge and survival. The number of copies of the Pore_a132 MHC allele was inversely related to infection by Gyrodactylus flukes and it appeared to be positively related to faster growth. Also, genotypes combining the Pore_a132 or other relatively common alleles paired with rare MHC alleles produced both advantageous and detrimental non-additive effects. Thus, the genetic architecture underlying fitness at the MHC is complex in the P. reticulata.

Keywords: Poecilia reticulata; fitness; genetic quality; growth rate; major histocompatibility complex; parasite

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2009.02449.x

Affiliations: Department of Biology, University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond Street, London, ON, N6A 5B7 Canada

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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