sexual selection...

David Peritt Peritt_d at a1.mscf.upenn.edu
Fri Jun 9 06:50:27 EST 1995


In article <frodes-0606951126500001 at tirpitz.ibg.uit.no> Frode Skarstein,
frodes at ibg.uit.no writes:
>This is where you immunology people come in. I would love to hear how you
>guys define "genetic resistance". What heritable aspects of the immune
>defence can enable some host genotypes to deal with a given pathogen
while
>other host genotypes succumb? 

I am a simple immunologist who may have totally missed your point.  But
here goes.  
I have a comment on a single aspect of your question.  Genetic resistance
has an interesting outcome in MHC within a species.  There has evolved a
process such that the MHC region is hypermutated within a species and the
diversity is enormous.  wheras most genes within a species is virtually
identical.  This diversity is assumed to be a mechnism that the species
can deal with varied organisms at a species level.  If a %age of the
species can not present the organisms peptide properly they will die but
the diversity of the MHC allows others in the species to mount a proper
immune response.  So here is a mechanism that a species has developed to
evolve into a diverse group so as to protect itself.  Interestingly,
Cheetahs are now known to be of a single MHC.  This is either due to the
small # in the world or this cat never developed the machinery the
diversify within a species.  It may not be what you were looking for but
there is it.......



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