Characterization of MHC class IA in the endangered southern corroboree frog

Kosch, Tiffany A., Eimes, John A., Didinger, Chelsea, Brannelly, Laura A., Waldman, Bruce, Berger, Lee, and Skerratt, Lee F. (2017) Characterization of MHC class IA in the endangered southern corroboree frog. Immunogenetics, 69. pp. 165-174.

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Abstract

Southern corroboree frogs (Pseudophryne corroboree) have declined to near extinction in the wild after the emergence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in southeastern Australia in the 1980s. A major captive breeding and reintroduction program is underway to preserve this iconic species, but improving resistance to B. dendrobatidis would help the wild population to be self-sustaining. Using 3 'and 5' rapid amplification of complementary DNA ends (RACE), we characterized the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class IA locus in this species. We then used sequences generated from RACE to design primers to amplify the peptide-binding region (PBR) of this functional genetic marker. Finally, we analysed the diversity, phylogeny, and selection patterns of PBR sequences from four P. corroboree populations and compared this with other amphibian species. We found moderately high MHC class IA genetic diversity in this species and evidence of strong positive and purifying selection at sites that are associated with putative PBR pockets in other species, indicating that this gene region may be under selection for resistance to Bd. Future studies should focus on identifying alleles associated with Bd resistance in P. corroboree by performing a Bd laboratory challenge study to confirm the functional importance of our genetic findings and explore their use in artificial selection or genetic engineering to increase resistance to chytridiomycosis.

Item ID: 46860
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-1211
Keywords: major histocompatibility complex, Pseudophryne corroboree, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, genetic variation, chytrid fungus, amphibian declines
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), Taronga Conservation Society (TCS), New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage
Projects and Grants: ARC LP110200240, ARC FT100100375, NRF 2015R1D1A1A01057282
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2017 23:46
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070705 Veterinary Immunology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960499 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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