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Applicability of major histocompatibility complex DRB1 alleles as markers to detect vertebrate hybridization: a case study from Iberian ibex x domestic goat in southern Spain

AuthorsAlasaad, Samer ; Fickel, Joerns; Rossi, Luca; Sarasa, Mathieu; BenÃ-tez-Camacho, Buenaventura; Granados, José E.; Soriguer, Ramón C.
Issue Date24-Sep-2012
PublisherBioMed Central
CitationActa Veterinaria Scandinavica. Sep 24;54(1):56 (2012)
AbstractAbstract Background Hybridization between closely related wild and domestic species is of great concern because it can alter the evolutionary integrity of the affected populations. The high allelic variability of Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) loci usually excludes them from being used in studies to detect hybridization events. However, if a) the parental species don’t share alleles, and b) one of the parental species possesses an exceptionally low number of alleles (to facilitate analysis), then even MHC loci have the potential to detect hybrids. Results By genotyping the exon2 of the MHC class II DRB1 locus, we were able to detect hybridization between domestic goats (Capra hircus) and free-ranging Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica hispanica) by molecular means. Conclusions This is the first documentation of a Capra pyrenaica × Capra hircus hybridization, which presented us the opportunity to test the applicability of MHC loci as new, simple, cost-effective, and time-saving approach to detect hybridization between wild species and their domesticated relatives, thus adding value to MHC genes role in animal conservation and management.
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