Background: We have previously identified associations between major histocompatibility complex(MHC) class I and resistance towards bacterial and viral pathogens in Atlantic salmon. To evaluate if onlyMHC or also closely linked genes contributed to the observed resistance we ventured into sequencing ofthe duplicated MHC class I regions of Atlantic salmon.Results: Nine BACs covering more than 500 kb of the two duplicated MHC class I regions of Atlanticsalmon were sequenced and the gene organizations characterized. Both regions contained the proteasomecomponents PSMB8, PSMB9, PSMB9-like and PSMB10 in addition to the transporter for antigen processingTAP2, as well as genes for KIFC1, ZBTB22, DAXX, TAPBP, BRD2, COL11A2, RXRB and SLC39A7. TheIA region contained the recently reported MHC class I Sasa-ULA locus residing approximately 50 kbupstream of the major Sasa-UBA locus. The duplicated class IB region contained an MHC class I locusresembling the rainbow trout UCA locus, but although transcribed it was a pseudogene. No other MHCclass I-like genes were detected in the two duplicated regions. Two allelic BACs spanning the UBA locushad 99.2% identity over 125 kb, while the IA region showed 82.5% identity over 136 kb to the IB region.The Atlantic salmon IB region had an insert of 220 kb in comparison to the IA region containing threechitin synthase genes.Conclusion: We have characterized the gene organization of more than 500 kb of the two duplicatedMHC class I regions in Atlantic salmon. Although Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout are closely related,the gene organization of their IB region has undergone extensive gene rearrangements. The Atlanticsalmon has only one class I UCA pseudogene in the IB region while trout contains the four MHC UCA, UDA,UEA and UFA class I loci. The large differences in gene content and most likely function of the salmon andtrout class IB region clearly argues that sequencing of salmon will not necessarily provide informationrelevant for trout and vice versa.
BMC Genomics 2007, 8:251 doi:10.1186/1471-2164-8-251
Genomic Organization of Duplicated Major Histocompatibility Complex Class I Regions in Atlantic Salmon (Salmo Salar)
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