To test the hypothesis that the H-2 polymorphism is adaptive, the degree of polymorphism of loci linked to the H-2 complex on chromosome 17 of the house mouse was compared to the degree of polymorphism of loci located on other chromosomes. Published theoretical analyses show that polymorphisms subject to natural selection usually reduce the polymorphism of linked neutral loci. The first test of the hypothesis was based on data obtained from a survey of the polymorphism of 12 isozyme-encoding loci in wild house mice from Europe, North Africa and South America. Results of this test showed that, on the average, H-2 linked loci were as polymorphic as loci located on other chromosomes. In fact, the data suggested that H-2 linked loci might be more polymorphic than other loci. To test this hypothesis more rigorously, data for the 12 isozyme-encoding loci were augmented with data from published surveys of the polymorphisms of 59 loci in house mice from Europe and North America. Results of these tests showed that polymorphic loci linked to the H-2 complex tended to be more, rather than less, polymorphic than loci located on other chromosomes. The cluster of highly polymorphic loci seems to be related to linkage of these loci to the highly polymorphic H-2 complex, but the way in which the influence is exerted could not be readily explained.
|Number of pages
|Published - 1982
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