MHC genotype and near-deterministic mortality in grey seals

de Assunção-Franco M, Hoffman J, Harwood J, Amos W (2012)
Scientific Reports 2: 659.

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Abstract
The Major Histocompatability Complex (MHC) is one of the best known and best characterised components of the immune system, yet its functions remain somewhat enigmatic, including both anti-pathogen activity and kin recognition. To explore the importance of the MHC relative to literally hundreds of other components of the immune system, we compared MHC genotype frequencies between pups and adults in the grey seal (Halichoerus grypus), one of many marine mammals that exhibit low allelic diversity. We find that one allele is strongly associated with pup survival, pups being more likely to be found dead if they lack it, while total allele number is a remarkably strong predictor of survivorship to adulthood. We estimate that approximately 70% of mortality can be attributed to the MHC. Our study therefore shows that low MHC allele diversity belies its critical role in determining whether a weaned pup negotiates disease to become a breeding adult.
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Article Processing Charge funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Open Access Publication Fund of Bielefeld University.
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de Assunção-Franco M, Hoffman J, Harwood J, Amos W. MHC genotype and near-deterministic mortality in grey seals. Scientific Reports. 2012;2:659.
de Assunção-Franco, M., Hoffman, J., Harwood, J., & Amos, W. (2012). MHC genotype and near-deterministic mortality in grey seals. Scientific Reports, 2, 659. doi:10.1038/srep00659
de Assunção-Franco, M., Hoffman, J., Harwood, J., and Amos, W. (2012). MHC genotype and near-deterministic mortality in grey seals. Scientific Reports 2, 659.
de Assunção-Franco, M., et al., 2012. MHC genotype and near-deterministic mortality in grey seals. Scientific Reports, 2, p 659.
M. de Assunção-Franco, et al., “MHC genotype and near-deterministic mortality in grey seals”, Scientific Reports, vol. 2, 2012, pp. 659.
de Assunção-Franco, M., Hoffman, J., Harwood, J., Amos, W.: MHC genotype and near-deterministic mortality in grey seals. Scientific Reports. 2, 659 (2012).
de Assunção-Franco, M, Hoffman, Joseph, Harwood, J, and Amos, W. “MHC genotype and near-deterministic mortality in grey seals”. Scientific Reports 2 (2012): 659.
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