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BMC Evol Biol. 2015 Apr 13;15:63. doi: 10.1186/s12862-015-0342-0.

Selection on MHC class II supertypes in the New Zealand endemic Hochstetter's frog.

Author information

1
Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. mette.lillie@sydney.edu.au.
2
Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. catherine.grueber@sydney.edu.au.
3
San Diego Zoo Global, San Diego, USA. catherine.grueber@sydney.edu.au.
4
Department of Biology, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Honolulu, USA. jolene.sutton@gmail.com.
5
Landcare Research, Auckland, New Zealand. howittr@landcareresearch.co.nz.
6
Department of Biology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. phil.bishop@otago.ac.nz.
7
Landcare Research, Auckland, New Zealand. Dianne.Gleeson@canberra.edu.au.
8
Institute for Applied Ecology, University of Canberra, Bruce, Australia. Dianne.Gleeson@canberra.edu.au.
9
Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. kathy.belov@sydney.edu.au.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The New Zealand native frogs, family Leiopelmatidae, are among the most archaic in the world. Leiopelma hochstetteri (Hochstetter's frog) is a small, semi-aquatic frog with numerous, fragmented populations scattered across New Zealand's North Island. We characterized a major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II B gene (DAB) in L. hochstetteri from a spleen transcriptome, and then compared its diversity to neutral microsatellite markers to assess the adaptive genetic diversity of five populations ("evolutionarily significant units", ESUs).

RESULTS:

L. hochstetteri possessed very high MHC diversity, with 74 DAB alleles characterized. Extremely high differentiation was observed at the DAB locus, with only two alleles shared between populations, a pattern that was not reflected in the microsatellites. Clustering analysis on putative peptide binding residues of the DAB alleles indicated four functional supertypes, all of which were represented in 4 of 5 populations, albeit at different frequencies. Otawa was an exception to these observations, with only two DAB alleles present.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study of MHC diversity highlights extreme population differentiation at this functional locus. Supertype differentiation was high among populations, suggesting spatial and/or temporal variation in selection pressures. Low DAB diversity in Otawa may limit this population's adaptive potential to future pathogenic challenges.

PMID:
25886729
PMCID:
PMC4415247
DOI:
10.1186/s12862-015-0342-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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