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Evolution of the immune system influences speciation rates in teleost fishes

Malmstrøm, Martin and Matschiner, Michael and Tørresen, Ole K. and Star, Bastiaan and Snipen, Lars G. and Hansen, Thomas F. and Baalsrud, Helle T. and Nederbragt, Alexander J. and Hanel, Reinhold and Salzburger, Walter and Stenseth, Nils C. and Jakobsen, Kjetill S. and Jentoft, Sissel. (2016) Evolution of the immune system influences speciation rates in teleost fishes. Nature Genetics, 48 (10). pp. 1204-1210.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/52481/

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Abstract

Teleost fishes constitute the most species-rich vertebrate clade and exhibit extensive genetic and phenotypic variation, including diverse immune defense strategies. The genomic basis of a particularly aberrant strategy is exemplified by Atlantic cod, in which a loss of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) II functionality coincides with a marked expansion of MHC I genes. Through low-coverage genome sequencing (9-39×), assembly and comparative analyses for 66 teleost species, we show here that MHC II is missing in the entire Gadiformes lineage and thus was lost once in their common ancestor. In contrast, we find that MHC I gene expansions have occurred multiple times, both inside and outside this clade. Moreover, we identify an association between high MHC I copy number and elevated speciation rates using trait-dependent diversification models. Our results extend current understanding of the plasticity of the adaptive immune system and suggest an important role for immune-related genes in animal diversification.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Zoologie > Evolutionary Biology (Salzburger)
UniBasel Contributors:Salzburger, Walter
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1061-4036
e-ISSN:1546-1718
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:25 Oct 2017 14:55
Deposited On:25 Oct 2017 14:55

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