Characterization of major histocompatibility complex class I, and class II DRB loci of captive and wild Indian leopards ( Panthera pardus fusca)

Parmar, Drashti; Mitra, Siuli; Bhadouriya, Snehalata; Rao, Tirupathi; Kunteepuram, Vaishnavi; Gaur, Ajay
December 2017
Genetica;Dec2017, Vol. 145 Issue 6, p541
Academic Journal
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC), in vertebrate animals, is a multi-genic protein complex that encodes various receptors. During a disease, MHC interacts with the antigen and triggers a cascade of adaptive immune responses to overcome a disease outbreak. The MHC is very important region from immunological point of view, but it is poorly characterized among Indian leopards. During this investigation, we examined genetic diversity for MHC class I (MHC-I) and MHC class II-DRB (MHC-II) among wild and captive Indian leopards. This study estimated a pool of 9 and 17 alleles for MHC-I and MHC-II, respectively. The wild group of individuals showed higher nucleotide diversity and amino acid polymorphism compared to the captive group. A phylogenetic comparison with other felids revealed a clustering in MHC-I and interspersed presence in MHC-II sequences. A test for selection also revealed a deviation from neutrality at MHC-II DRB loci and higher non-synonymous substitution rate (dN) among the individuals from wild group. Further, the wild individuals showed higher dN for both MHC I and II genes compared to the group that was bred under captive conditions. These findings suggest the role of micro-evolutionary forces, such as pathogen-mediated selection, to cause MHC variations among the two groups of Indian leopards, because the two groups have been bred in two different environments for a substantial period of time. Since, MHC diversity is often linked with the quality of immunological health; the results obtained from this study fill the gap of knowledge on disease predisposition among wild and captive Indian leopards.


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