The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa

Abstract of Publication

Murray, B.W., P. Nilsson, Z. Zaleska-Rutczynska, H. Sültmann, and J. Klein. 2000. Linkage relationships and haplotype variation of the major histocompatibility complex class I A genes in the cichlid fish Oreochromis niloticus. Marine Biotechnology 2 (5): 437-448.  

The haplochromine cichlid species flocks of the East African Great Lakes are one of the best examples of adaptive radiation. Analysis of genetic variation among these species provides valuable information on species relationships and timing of speciation events. Although the haplochromine cichlids generally display little genetic variation, the major histocompatibility complex (Mhc) genes have been found to be highly variable. A study of the linkage relationships of the Mhc class I A genes in the cichlid fish Oreochromis niloticus was therefore undertaken. Class I loci were identified, and their segregation in seven mothers and their haploid embryos was determined. In total, 56 class I A sequences were found among the seven families. A strong concordance of segregation was observed in five haplotypes among the embryos, indicating a close linkage of all loci. The number of loci per haplotype varied from 11 to 17, while the total number of distinct loci found among all families was 22. These findings show that all class I A loci are linked in a single genetic cluster in O. niloticus.




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