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New perspectives on mate choice and the MHC

Jordan, W. C. and Bruford, Michael William 1998. New perspectives on mate choice and the MHC. Heredity 81 (3) , pp. 239-245. 10.1038/sj.hdy.6884280

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A long series of studies on mice have shown that mate choice decisions can be made on the basis of individual genotype at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), which accords well with the importance of immunocompetence in some theories of sexual selection. Recent work on other vertebrate species, including humans, indicates that MHC-based mate choice is not restricted to the genus Mus. However, its importance may vary among species as a result of differences in social and mating system structure, and perhaps genome structure. There appears to be a general preference expressed for MHC-dissimilar mates, and such MHC-disassortative mating may be involved in maintaining MHC and/or genome-wide diversity in natural populations. The strength and direction of MHC-based mating preference can vary, and may be modulated by factors such as genetic background, sex, and early life experience.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACES)
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 0018-067X
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:49

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