Nonparallelism in MHCIIβ diversity accompanies nonparallelism in pathogen infection of lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) species pairs as revealed by next-generation sequencing

Authors

  • Scott A. Pavey,

    Corresponding author
    • Departement de Biologie, Institut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes (IBIS), Université Laval, Québec, Québec, Canada
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  • Maelle Sevellec,

    1. Departement de Biologie, Institut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes (IBIS), Université Laval, Québec, Québec, Canada
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  • William Adam,

    1. Departement de Biologie, Institut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes (IBIS), Université Laval, Québec, Québec, Canada
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  • Eric Normandeau,

    1. Departement de Biologie, Institut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes (IBIS), Université Laval, Québec, Québec, Canada
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  • Fabien C. Lamaze,

    1. Departement de Biologie, Institut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes (IBIS), Université Laval, Québec, Québec, Canada
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  • Pierre-Alexandre Gagnaire,

    1. Departement de Biologie, Institut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes (IBIS), Université Laval, Québec, Québec, Canada
    2. Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution – Montpellier (ISEM), Universite Montpellier II, Montpellier Cedex, France
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  • Marie Filteau,

    1. Departement de Biologie, Institut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes (IBIS), Université Laval, Québec, Québec, Canada
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  • Francois Olivier Hebert,

    1. Departement de Biologie, Institut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes (IBIS), Université Laval, Québec, Québec, Canada
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  • Halim Maaroufi,

    1. Departement de Biologie, Institut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes (IBIS), Université Laval, Québec, Québec, Canada
    2. Plate-forme de Bio-informatique and Institut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes, Université Laval, Québec, Québec, Canada
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  • Louis Bernatchez

    1. Departement de Biologie, Institut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes (IBIS), Université Laval, Québec, Québec, Canada
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Correspondence: Scott A. Pavey, Fax: 418 656 7176; E-mail: scott.pavey.1@ulaval.ca

Abstract

Major histocompatibility (MHC) immune system genes may evolve in response to pathogens in the environment. Because they also may affect mate choice, they are candidates for having great importance in ecological speciation. Here, we use next-generation sequencing to test the general hypothesis of parallelism in patterns of MHCIIβ diversity and bacterial infections among five dwarf and normal whitefish sympatric pairs. A second objective was to assess the functional relationships between specific MHCIIβ alleles and pathogens in natural conditions. Each individual had between one and four alleles, indicating two paralogous loci. In Cliff Lake, the dwarf ecotype was monomorphic for the most common allele. In Webster Lake, the skew in the allelic distribution was towards the same allele but in the normal ecotype, underscoring the nonparallel divergence among lakes. Our signal of balancing selection matched putative peptide binding region residues in some cases, but not in others, supporting other recent findings of substantial functional differences in fish MHCIIβ compared with mammals. Individuals with fewer alleles were less likely to be infected; thus, we found no evidence for the heterozygote advantage hypothesis. MHCIIβ alleles and pathogenic bacteria formed distinct clusters in multivariate analyses, and clusters of certain alleles were associated with clusters of pathogens, or sometimes the absence of pathogens, indicating functional relationships at the individual level. Given that patterns of MHCIIβ and bacteria were nonparallel among dwarf and normal whitefish pairs, we conclude that pathogens driving MHCIIβ evolution did not play a direct role in their parallel phenotypic evolution.

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