Chamois (Rupicapra spp.) are mountain ungulates from Southern and Central Europe and the Near East. A newly reported border disease virus (BDV) has affected the easternmost populations of Pyrenean chamois, leading to a dramatic population decrease that may drive to genetic variability loss. The Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) is a sensitive marker for genetic variation of populations: polymorphism on the MHC genes is affected both by pathogens and population dynamics and it is ecologically relevant, as depending on host-pathogen relationships and life history features. In the present study MHC class II DRB1 exon 2 variation was investigated in 81 Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica pyrenaica) belonging to four populations. Haplotype analysis, population genetics statistics and network analysis were carried out, in order to analyze variability, phylogeography and genealogy, and the effects of geography and demographic trend. Twenty-nine haplotypes were identified, 26 of them newly described, with high Gene diversity (Gd). The variability observed in the easternmost populations of Pyrenean chamois showed a higher genetic diversity than that previously reported for other populations of Pyrenean and Cantabrian chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica parva). The most frequent allele was RupyDRB*15, previously undetected, which seems to play a significant role in genotyping the variability, suggesting a possible effect of positive selection. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
|Journal||Infection, Genetics and Evolution|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jul 2012|
- Balancing selection
- MHC DRB1 locus
- Population dynamics
- Pyrenean chamois
- Wildlife diseases