Recombination and selection in the major histocompatibility complex of the endangered forest musk deer (Moschus berezovskii)
2015 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 5, 17285Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
The forest musk deer (Moschus berezovskii) is a high elevation species distributed across western China and northern Vietnam. Once abundant, habitat loss and poaching has led to a dramatic decrease in population numbers prompting the IUCN to list the species as endangered. Here, we characterized the genetic diversity of a Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) locus and teased apart driving factors shaping its variation. Seven DRB exon 2 alleles were identified among a group of randomly sampled forest musk deer from a captive population in the Sichuan province of China. Compared to other endangered or captive ungulates, forest musk deer have relatively low levels of MHC genetic diversity. Non-synonymous substitutions primarily occurred in the putative peptide-binding region (PBR), with analyses suggesting that recombination and selection has shaped the genetic diversity across the locus. Specifically, inter-allelic recombination generated novel allelic combinations, with evidence for both positive selection acting on the PBR and negative selection on the non-PBR. An improved understanding of functional genetic variability of the MHC will facilitate better design and management of captive breeding programs for this endangered species.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 5, 17285
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-270444DOI: 10.1038/srep17285ISI: 000365386600001PubMedID: 26603338OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-270444DiVA: diva2:898363