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Genetics. 1996 Jun;143(2):823-7.

Transmission genetics of allorecognition in Hydractinia symbiolongicarpus (Cnidaria:Hydrozoa).

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Department of Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06511, USA.


Allorecognition is ubiquitous, or nearly so, amongst colonial invertebrates. Despite the prominent role that such phenomena have played both in evolutionary theory and in on the origin of the vertebrate immune system, unambiguous data on the transmission genetics of fusibility (i.e., the ability of two individuals to fuse upon tissue contact) is lacking for any metazoan outside of the phylum Chordata. We have developed lines of the hydroid Hydractinia symbiolongicarpus (Phylum Cnidaria) inbred for fusibility and here report results of breeding experiments establishing that fusibility segregates as expected for a single locus with codominantly expressed alleles, with one shared allele producing a fusible phenotype. Surveys of fusibility in field populations and additional breeding experiments indicate the presence of an extensive allele series.

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