In tetrapods, the functional (classical) class I and class II B loci of the major histocompatibility complex (Mhc) are tightly linked in a single chromosomal region. In an earlier study, we demonstrated that in the zebrafish, Danio rerio, order Cypriniformes, the two classes are present on different chromosomes. Here, we show that the situation is similar in the stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus, order Gasterosteiformes, the common guppy, Poecilia reticulata, order Cyprinodontiformes, and the cichlid fish Oreochromis niloticus, order Perciformes. These data, together with unpublished results from other laboratories suggest that in all Euteleostei, the classical class I and class II B loci are in separate linkage groups, and that in at least some of these taxa, the class II loci are in two different groups. Since Euteleostei are at least as numerous as tetrapods, in approximately one-half of jawed vertebrates, the class I and class II regions are not linked.
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