Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Major histocompatibility complex heterozygosity enhances reproductive success


Thoss, M; Ilmonen, P; Musolf, K; Penn, D J (2011). Major histocompatibility complex heterozygosity enhances reproductive success. Molecular Ecology, 20(7):1546-1557.

Abstract

We investigated how heterozygosity at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) affects fitness in wild-derived (F2) house mice (Mus musculus musculus). To compare and control for potential confounding effects from close inbreeding and genome-wide heterozygosity, we used mice that were systematically outbred. We assessed how heterozygosity at MHC and background loci (using 15 microsatellite markers on 11 different chromosomes) affects individual survival and reproductive success (RS) in large, semi-natural population enclosures. We found that overall heterozygosity significantly increased RS, and this correlation was entirely explained by heterozygosity at two MHC loci. Moreover, we found that the effects of MHC heterozygosity depend on the level of background heterozygosity, and the benefits of maximal MHC heterozygosity show a curvilinear effect with increasing background heterozygosity. The enhanced RS from MHC heterozygosity was not because of increased survival, and although MHC heterozygosity was correlated with body mass, body mass did not correlate with RS when heterozygosity is controlled. Breeders were more MHC heterozygous than nonbreeders for both sexes, indicating that MHC heterozygosity enhanced fecundity, mating success or both. Our results show that (i) MHC heterozygosity enhances fitness among wild, outbred as well as congenic laboratory mice; (ii) heterozygosity–fitness correlations can potentially be explained by a few loci, such as MHC; (iii) MHC heterozygosity can increase fitness, even without affecting survival, by increasing mating and RS; and (iv) MHC effects depend on background genes, and maximal MHC heterozygosity is most beneficial at intermediate or optimal levels of background heterozygosity.

Abstract

We investigated how heterozygosity at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) affects fitness in wild-derived (F2) house mice (Mus musculus musculus). To compare and control for potential confounding effects from close inbreeding and genome-wide heterozygosity, we used mice that were systematically outbred. We assessed how heterozygosity at MHC and background loci (using 15 microsatellite markers on 11 different chromosomes) affects individual survival and reproductive success (RS) in large, semi-natural population enclosures. We found that overall heterozygosity significantly increased RS, and this correlation was entirely explained by heterozygosity at two MHC loci. Moreover, we found that the effects of MHC heterozygosity depend on the level of background heterozygosity, and the benefits of maximal MHC heterozygosity show a curvilinear effect with increasing background heterozygosity. The enhanced RS from MHC heterozygosity was not because of increased survival, and although MHC heterozygosity was correlated with body mass, body mass did not correlate with RS when heterozygosity is controlled. Breeders were more MHC heterozygous than nonbreeders for both sexes, indicating that MHC heterozygosity enhanced fecundity, mating success or both. Our results show that (i) MHC heterozygosity enhances fitness among wild, outbred as well as congenic laboratory mice; (ii) heterozygosity–fitness correlations can potentially be explained by a few loci, such as MHC; (iii) MHC heterozygosity can increase fitness, even without affecting survival, by increasing mating and RS; and (iv) MHC effects depend on background genes, and maximal MHC heterozygosity is most beneficial at intermediate or optimal levels of background heterozygosity.

Statistics

Citations

22 citations in Web of Science®
33 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:06 Mar 2012 14:24
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:32
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0962-1083
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05009.x

Download

Full text not available from this repository.
View at publisher