Extensive shared polymorphism at non-MHC immune genes in recently diverged North American prairie grouse

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Gene polymorphisms shared between recently diverged species are thought to be widespread and most commonly reflect introgression from hybridization or retention of ancestral polymorphism through incomplete lineage sorting. Shared genetic diversity resulting from incomplete lineage sorting is usually maintained for a relatively short period of time, but under strong balancing selection it may persist for millions of years beyond species divergence (balanced trans-species polymorphism), as in the case of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes. However, balancing selection is much less likely to act on non-MHC immune genes. The aim of this study was to investigate the patterns of shared polymorphism and selection at non-MHC immune genes in five grouse species from Centrocercus and Tympanuchus genera. For this purpose, we genotyped five non-MHC immune genes that do not interact directly with pathogens, but are involved in signaling and regulate immune cell growth. In contrast to previous studies with MHC, we found no evidence for balancing selection or balanced trans-species polymorphism among the non-MHC immune genes. No haplotypes were shared between genera and in most cases more similar allelic variants sorted by genus. Between species within genera, however, we found extensive shared polymorphism, which was most likely attributable to introgression or incomplete lineage sorting following recent divergence and large ancestral effective population size (i.e., weak genetic drift). Our study suggests that North American prairie grouse may have attained relatively low degree of reciprocal monophyly at nuclear loci and reinforces the rarity of balancing selection in non-MHC immune genes.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Extensive shared polymorphism at non-MHC immune genes in recently diverged North American prairie grouse
Series title Immunogenetics
DOI 10.1007/s00251-017-1024-4
Volume 70
Issue 3
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher Immunogenetics
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center
Description 10 p.
First page 195
Last page 204
Country Canada, United States
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