Skip to main content

Major histocompatibility complex polymorphism: dynamics and consequences of parasite-mediated local adaptation in fishes

Buy Article:

$51.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Parasitism is a common form of life and represents a strong selective pressure for host organisms. In response to this evolutionary pressure, vertebrates have developed genetically coded defences such as the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Mechanisms of parasite-mediated selection not only maintain outstanding polymorphism in these genes but have also been proposed to further promote host population divergence and ultimately speciation because it can drive evolution of local adaptation in which MHC genes play a crucial role. This review first highlights the dynamics and complexity of parasite-mediated selection in natural systems, which not only depends on dominating parasite strategies and on the taxonomic diversity of the parasite community but also includes the differences in parasite communities between habitats and niches, creating divergent selection on locally adapted populations. Then the different ways in which MHC genes potentially allow vertebrates to respond to these dynamics and to adapt locally are outlined. Finally, it is proposed that varying selection strength in time and space may lead to variation in the strength of precopulatory reproductive isolation which has evolved to maintain local adaptation.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Keywords: MHC; major histocompatibility complex; mate choice; parasite dynamics; speciation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Department of Evolutionary Ecology, August-Thienemann Strasse 2. 24306 Ploen, Germany

Publication date: 2010-12-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more