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New data from basal Australian songbird lineages show that complex structure of MHC class II β genes has early evolutionary origins within passerines

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, May 2016
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  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (51st percentile)

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Title
New data from basal Australian songbird lineages show that complex structure of MHC class II β genes has early evolutionary origins within passerines
Published in
BMC Evolutionary Biology, May 2016
DOI 10.1186/s12862-016-0681-5
Pubmed ID
Authors

Shandiya Balasubramaniam, Rebecca D. Bray, Raoul A. Mulder, Paul Sunnucks, Alexandra Pavlova, Jane Melville

Abstract

The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays a crucial role in the adaptive immune system and has been extensively studied across vertebrate taxa. Although the function of MHC genes appears to be conserved across taxa, there is great variation in the number and organisation of these genes. Among avian species, for instance, there are notable differences in MHC structure between passerine and non-passerine lineages: passerines typically have a high number of highly polymorphic MHC paralogs whereas non-passerines have fewer loci and lower levels of polymorphism. Although the occurrence of highly polymorphic MHC paralogs in passerines is well documented, their evolutionary origins are relatively unexplored. The majority of studies have focussed on the more derived passerine lineages and there is very little empirical information on the diversity of the MHC in basal passerine lineages. We undertook a study of MHC diversity and evolutionary relationships across seven species from four families (Climacteridae, Maluridae, Pardalotidae, Meliphagidae) that comprise a prominent component of the basal passerine lineages. We aimed to determine if highly polymorphic MHC paralogs have an early evolutionary origin within passerines or are a more derived feature of the infraorder Passerida. We identified 177 alleles of the MHC class II β exon 2 in seven basal passerine species, with variation in numbers of alleles across individuals and species. Overall, we found evidence of multiple gene loci, pseudoalleles, trans-species polymorphism and high allelic diversity in these basal lineages. Phylogenetic reconstruction of avian lineages based on MHC class II β exon 2 sequences strongly supported the monophyletic grouping of basal and derived passerine species. Our study provides evidence of a large number of highly polymorphic MHC paralogs in seven basal passerine species, with strong similarities to the MHC described in more derived passerine lineages rather than the simpler MHC in non-passerine lineages. These findings indicate an early evolutionary origin of highly polymorphic MHC paralogs in passerines and shed light on the evolutionary forces shaping the avian MHC.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 4 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 21 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 21 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 5 24%
Student > Master 4 19%
Researcher 4 19%
Student > Bachelor 2 10%
Lecturer 1 5%
Other 1 5%
Unknown 4 19%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 10 48%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 5 24%
Unspecified 1 5%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 1 5%
Unknown 4 19%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 2. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 29 June 2016.
All research outputs
#3,709,924
of 7,965,219 outputs
Outputs from BMC Evolutionary Biology
#1,292
of 1,937 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#122,784
of 270,253 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Evolutionary Biology
#55
of 75 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 7,965,219 research outputs across all sources so far. This one has received more attention than most of these and is in the 51st percentile.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,937 research outputs from this source. They typically receive more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 9.0. This one is in the 30th percentile – i.e., 30% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 270,253 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 51% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 75 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 24th percentile – i.e., 24% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.