The Evolution of Mating Preferences and Major Histocompatibility Complex Genes

@article{Penn1999TheEO,
  title={The Evolution of Mating Preferences and Major Histocompatibility Complex Genes},
  author={Dustin J. Penn and Wayne K Potts},
  journal={The American Naturalist},
  year={1999},
  volume={153},
  pages={145 - 164}
}
House mice prefer mates genetically dissimilar at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). The highly polymorphic MHC genes control immunological self/nonself recognition; therefore, this mating preference may function to provide “good genes” for an individual's offspring. However, the evidence for MHC‐dependent mating preferences is controversial, and its function remains unclear. Here we provide a critical review of the studies on MHC‐dependent mating preferences in mice, sheep, and humans… 

Influence of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) on human mating preferences

Mating with a MHC dissimilar individual can produce MHC heterozygous offspring that has strong immunocompetence against several parasite types, which has more capability to identify rapidly evolving parasites, which can escape recognition by immune systems containing common alleles.

No evidence for MHC class I‐based disassortative mating in a wild population of great tits

The results provide no support for the suggestion that selection favours, or that mate choice realizes, a preference for complimentary MHC types, and a weak correlation between MHC supertype sharing and relatedness suggests that MHC dissimilarity at functional variants may not provide an effective index of relatedness.

The Major Histocompatibility Complex, Sexual Selection, and Mate Choice

MHC ligand peptides may be the natural “perfume” that reveals a potential partner's MHC genetics probably in all vertebrates and maximizes resistance to ever-changing infectious diseases.

MHC‐based mate choice combines good genes and maintenance of MHC polymorphism

It is argued that such an interaction between host and parasite driving assortative mating is not only a prerequisite for negative frequency‐dependent selection — a potential mechanism to explain the maintenance of MHC polymorphism, but also potentially speciation.

Extra‐pair mating in a passerine bird with highly duplicated major histocompatibility complex class II: Preference for the golden mean

This study exemplifies how mate choice can reduce the population variance in individual MHC diversity and exert strong stabilizing selection on the trait and supports the hypothesis that extra‐pair mating is adaptive through altered genetic constitution in offspring.

Genomic analysis of MHC-based mate choice in the monogamous California mouse

The results suggest that MHC genetic variation in California mice reflects local differences in pathogen exposure rather than disassortative mating based on variability at MHC Class I and II genes.

Is Mate Choice in Humans MHC-Dependent?

Analysis of genome-wide genotype data and HLA types in African and European American couples to test whether humans tend to choose MHC-dissimilar mates supports the hypothesis that the MHC influences mate choice in some human populations.

Complexity and context of MHC‐correlated mating preferences in wild populations

Two papers are raised in this Molecular Ecology issue, in which patterns of reproductive success in tiger salamanders and three‐spined sticklebacks are each inconsistent with a generalized preference for MHC dissimilarity, and several adaptive reasons for decision rules that do not necessarily result in maximizing mate Dissimilarity are raised.

Sexual selection and the evolutionary dynamics of the major histocompatibility complex

It is demonstrated that natural and sexual selection produce distinctive signatures of MHC allelic diversity with critical implications for understanding host–pathogen dynamics, and MHC-based sexual selection may help to explain how functionally important genetic variation can be maintained in populations of conservation concern.

MHC-associated mating strategies and the importance of overall genetic diversity in an obligate pair-living primate

Evidence is found that mate choice is predicted in the first place by the ‘good-genes-as-heterozygosity hypothesis’ whereas the occurrence of extra-pair matings supports the “dissassortative mating hypothesis”.
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