MHC class II B diversity in blue tits: a preliminary study
Article first published online: 21 MAY 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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Ecology and Evolution
Volume 3, Issue 7, pages 1878–1889, July 2013
How to Cite
Ecology and Evolution 2013; 3(7): 1878–1889
- Issue published online: 10 JUL 2013
- Article first published online: 21 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 17 APR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 28 FEB 2013
- Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación. Grant Number: CGL2009-09439
- GEBACO FP6/2002–2006. Grant Number: 28696
- INCORE FP6–2005-NEST-Path. Grant Number: 043318
- Cyanistes caeruleus ;
- major histocompatibility complex;
- Parus caeruleus ;
In this study, we partly characterize major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II B in the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus). A total of 22 individuals from three different European locations: Spain, The Netherlands, and Sweden were screened for MHC allelic diversity. The MHC genes were investigated using both PCR-based methods and unamplified genomic DNA with restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and southern blots. A total of 13 different exon 2 sequences were obtained independently from DNA and/or RNA, thus confirming gene transcription and likely functionality of the genes. Nine out of 13 alleles were found in more than one country, and two alleles appeared in all countries. Positive selection was detected in the region coding for the peptide binding region (PBR). A maximum of three alleles per individual was detected by sequencing and the RFLP pattern consisted of 4–7 fragments, indicating a minimum number of 2–4 loci per individual. A phylogenetic analysis, demonstrated that the blue tit sequences are divergent compared to sequences from other passerines resembling a different MHC lineage than those possessed by most passerines studied to date.