Susceptibility of amphibians to chytridiomycosis is associated with MHC class II conformation

Bataille Arnaud, Cashins Scott D., Grogan James, Skerratt Lee F., Hunter Danny, McFadden Michael, Scheele Benjamin, Brannelly Laura A., Macris Amy, Harlow Peter S., Bell Sara, Berger Lee, Waldman Bruce. 2015. Susceptibility of amphibians to chytridiomycosis is associated with MHC class II conformation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282 (1805), 9 p.

Journal article ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
Published version - Anglais
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Quartile : Q1, Sujet : BIOLOGY / Quartile : Q1, Sujet : ECOLOGY / Quartile : Q1, Sujet : EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

Liste HCERES des revues (en SHS) : oui

Thème(s) HCERES des revues (en SHS) : Psychologie-éthologie-ergonomie

Abstract : The pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) can cause precipitous population declines in its amphibian hosts. Responses of individuals to infection vary greatly with the capacity of their immune system to respond to the pathogen. We used a combination of comparative and experimental approaches to identify major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) alleles encoding molecules that foster the survival of Bd-infected amphibians. We found that Bd-resistant amphibians across four continents share common amino acids in three binding pockets of the MHC-II antigen-binding groove. Moreover, strong signals of selection acting on these specific sites were evident among all species co-existing with the pathogen. In the laboratory, we experimentally inoculated Australian tree frogs with Bd to test how each binding pocket conformation influences disease resistance. Only the conformation of MHC-II pocket 9 of surviving subjects matched those of Bd-resistant species. This MHC-II conformation thus may determine amphibian resistance to Bd, although other MHC-II binding pockets also may contribute to resistance. Rescuing amphibian biodiversity will depend on our understanding of amphibian immune defence mechanisms against Bd. The identification of adaptive genetic markers for Bd resistance represents an important step forward towards that goal.

Classification Agris : L73 - Animal diseases
M40 - Aquatic ecology
L10 - Animal genetics and breeding

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 4 (2014-2018) - Santé des animaux et des plantes

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Bataille Arnaud, Seoul National University (KOR)
  • Cashins Scott D., James Cook University (AUS)
  • Grogan James, James Cook University (AUS)
  • Skerratt Lee F., James Cook University (AUS)
  • Hunter Danny, Bioversity International (ITA)
  • McFadden Michael, Taronga Conservation Society Australia (AUS)
  • Scheele Benjamin, ANU (AUS)
  • Brannelly Laura A., James Cook University (AUS)
  • Macris Amy, ANU (AUS)
  • Harlow Peter S., Taronga Conservation Society Australia (AUS)
  • Bell Sara, James Cook University (AUS)
  • Berger Lee, James Cook University (AUS)
  • Waldman Bruce, ANU (AUS)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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