[MARMAM] New publication on Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) class II sequence polymorphism in long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas) from the North Atlantic

Silvia Monteiro silvia.sm.monteiro at gmail.com
Thu Jun 16 11:48:44 PDT 2016

Dear Marmam Readers,

I am very pleased to announce the following publication:

Sílvia S. Monteiro , José V. Vingada , Alfredo López , Graham J. Pierce ,
Marisa Ferreira , Andrew Brownlow , Bjarni Mikkelsen , Misty Niemeyer ,
Robert J. Deaville , Catarina Eira , Stuart Piertney (2016). Major
Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) class II sequence polymorphism in
long-finned pilot whale (*Globicephala melas*) from the North Atlantic. Marine
Biology Research  doi: 10.1080/17451000.2016.1174266


Determining how intra-specific genetic diversity is apportioned among
natural populations is essential for detecting local adaptation and
identifying populations with inherently low levels of extant diversity
which may become a conservation concern. Sequence polymorphism at two
adaptive loci (MHC DRA and DQB) was investigated in long-finned pilot
whales (*Globicephala melas*) from four regions in the North Atlantic and
compared with previous data from New Zealand (South Pacific). Three alleles
were resolved at each locus, with trans-species allele sharing and higher
levels of non-synonymous to synonymous substitution, especially in the DQB
locus. Overall nucleotide diversities of 0.49 ± 0.38% and 4.60 ± 2.39% were
identified for the DRA and DQB loci, respectively, which are relatively low
for MHC loci in the North Atlantic, but comparable to levels previously
described in New Zealand (South Pacific). There were significant
differences in allele frequencies within the North Atlantic and between the
North Atlantic and New Zealand. Patterns of diversity and divergence are
consistent with the long-term effects of balancing selection operating on
the MHC loci, potentially mediated through the effects of host-parasite
coevolution. Differences in allele frequency may reflect variation in
pathogen communities, coupled with the effects of differential drift and
gene flow.

For an early view of this paper, please visit:


If you are unable to download the article, please contact me by email and I
will be
happy to send you a copy: s.monteiro at ua.pt

Best wishes,

Silvia Monteiro
Postdoctoral researcher
CESAM (Centro de estudos do ambiente e do Mar)
University of Aveiro
s.monteiro@ <http://www.bio.ua.pt/>ua.pt

Sociedade Portuguesa de Vida Selvagem/Portuguese Wildlife Society
University of Minho
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