Abstracts (first author)
MHC Evolution in Neotropical Cichlids (Amphilophus sp.)PDF
The Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) is a key component of the adaptive immune system of all vertebrates. Considerable evidence has accumulated suggesting that parasite-mediated selection acting on MHC genes may ultimately lead to speciation. The Midas cichlid species complex of the crater lakes of Nicaragua is an ideal model system for the study of speciation, because it has recently colonized several isolated crater lakes where it has independently diverged into sympatric sister species. We evaluate the hypothesis that host parasite interactions might be contributing to the speciation process in this system. To this end we have characterized and sequenced the MHC class IIB of individuals from different putative species of this cichlid species complex.