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Immunogenetics. 2002 Aug;54(5):320-31. Epub 2002 Jul 4.

Unique haplotypes of co-segregating major histocompatibility class II A and class II B alleles in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) give rise to diverse class II genotypes.

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Cell Biology and Immunology Group, Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences, Wageningen University, Marijkeweg 40, 6709 PG Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Sequence-based typing of a breeding population (G1) consisting of 84 Atlantic salmon individuals revealed the presence of 7 Sasa-DAA and 7 Sasa-DAB expressed alleles. Subsequent typing of 1,182 individuals belonging to 33 families showed that Sasa-DAA and Sasa-DAB segregate as haplotypes. In total seven unique haplotypes were established, with frequencies in the population studied ranging from 0.01 to 0.49. Each haplotype is characterized by a unique minisatellite marker size embedded in the 3' untranslated region of the Sasa-DAA gene. These data corroborate the fact that Atlantic salmon express a single class II locus, consisting of tightly linked class II A and class B genes. The seven haplotypes give rise to 15 genotypes with frequencies varying between 0.01 and 0.23; 21 class II homozygous individuals were present in the G1 population. We also studied the frequency distribution in another breeding population (G4, n=374) using the minisatellite marker. Only one new marker size was present, suggesting the presence of one new class II haplotype. The marker frequency distribution in the G4 population differed markedly from the G1 population. The genomic organizations of two Sasa-DAA and Sasa-DAB alleles were determined, and supported the notion that these alleles belong to the same locus. In contrast to other studies of salmonid class II sequences, phylogenetic analyses of brown trout and Atlantic class II A and class II B sequences provided support for trans-species polymorphism.

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