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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. May 10, 1994; 91(10): 4397–4401.

Two Mhc class I and two Mhc class II genes map to the chicken Rfp-Y system outside the B complex.


Gene sequences highly similar to major histocompatibility complex (Mhc) class I and class II genes were recently recognized as mapping to a site in the genome of the chicken separate from the Mhc class I, class II, and B-G genes of the major histocompatibility (B) complex. The present study was undertaken to see whether this complex of Mhc-like genes designated as restriction fragment pattern Y (Rfp-Y) might reside in one of three clusters of cosmid clones contained within the molecular map of chicken Mhc genes, since only two of the three clusters can be assigned to the B system. To determine whether the third cluster (cluster II/IV) might contain Rfp-Y, a subclone (18.1) from within cluster II/IV near a polymorphic lectin gene was used to analyze the DNA of families in which Rfp-Y haplotypes are known to be segregating. The restriction fragment polymorphisms revealed by the 18.1 probe were found to segregate in parallel with the restriction fragment polymorphisms defining the Rfp-Y haplotypes, thus establishing the location of Rfp-Y within cosmid cluster II/IV. Two of six Mhc class I genes and two of five Mhc class II genes map to cosmid cluster II/IV, so a substantial fraction of chicken Mhc genes, including at least one that may be expressed, are located in a chromosomal region separate from the B system. In further linkage analyses, Rfp-Y was found to assort independently from more than 400 markers in the present linkage map of the chicken genome.

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