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  Major histocompatibility genes, polymorphism and balancing selection : the case of parasites and sticklebacks

Wegner, K. M. (2004). Major histocompatibility genes, polymorphism and balancing selection: the case of parasites and sticklebacks. PhD Thesis, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-DA6A-2 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-844B-7
Genre: Thesis

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 Creators:
Wegner, K. Mathias1, Author              
Reusch, Thorsten B. H.1, Advisor              
Bosch, T., Referee
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1Department Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society, ou_1445634              

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Free keywords: three-spined stickleback; Gasterosteus aculeatus; parasites; MHC; major histocompatilibility complex; co-evolution; overdominant selection; frequency dependent selection
 Abstract: The extreme polymorphism of genes of the vertebrate major histocompatibility complex is an evolutionary puzzle. Why do high numbers of alleles persist despite selective forces favouring the fittest variants? Overdominant selection can explain the persistance of high numbers of alleles, because MHC heterozygotes can detect more pathogens. Using three-spined sticklebacks and their natural parasite fauna as a model organisms, this thesis addresses some of the key mechanisms that may explain MHC polymorphism. On Population level, diversity of stickleback MHC class IIB genes was correlated with parasite diversity. Within individuals those with an intermediate individual MHC diversity were suffering least from parasite infection in the field and in controlled experiments. Host-parasite co-evolution would further predict that the fitness of genotypes/alleles should fluctuate depending on its frequency. In three populations MHC alleles fluctuate stronger between generations than random. These fluctuations could partly be linked to changes in parasite prevalence and therefore provide support for antagonistic co-evolution between MHC genes and parasites.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2004-11-02
 Publication Status: Accepted / In Press
 Pages: 118 p.
 Publishing info: Kiel : Christian-Albrechts-Universität
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: -
 Identifiers: eDoc: 204740
URI: http://e-diss.uni-kiel.de/diss_1206/
Other: Diss/11036
 Degree: PhD

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