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Isolation of major histocompatibility complex class II beta sequences from Lake Tana barbel


, : Isolation of major histocompatibility complex class II beta sequences from Lake Tana barbel. Folia Zoologica 45(SUPPL 1): 47-54

There are at least fourteen different morphotypes of large barbel (Barbus intermedius spp.) in Lake Tana (Ethiopia). This diversity might be the result of a major adaptive radiation in the last 2.5 million years. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) contains loci encoding products involved in antigen presentation that are instrumental in the specific activation of the cognate immune system and are the most polymorphic known in warm blooded vertebrates. In humans, the MHC class 11 genes can have up to 40 alleles. The polymorphic nature of these alleles allows them to be used for phylogenetic analyses. Polymerase chain reaction primers specific for the MHC class 11 gene, McdCyca-DAB, from the common carp (Cyprinus carpio) have been used to amplify the first intron and second exon of this gene from Barbus DNA. The second exon encodes the peptide binding region - the region that shows the highest polymorphism between alleles. Intron sequences obtained from three morphotypes within the lake ("acute" intermedius" and "lip"), as well as one Portuguese Barbus bocagei individual, have been used in phylogenetic analyses. The Barbus sequences, group together on a branch separate from the Cyca sequences. Further analyses of sequences obtained from different morphotypes might aid in determining the relationship between these morphotypes.

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