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Isolation and characterization of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II B genes in the Barn owl (Aves: Tyto alba)
We isolated major histocompatibility complex class II B (MHCIIB) genes in the Barn owl (Tyto alba). A PCR-based approach combined with primer walking on genomic and complementary DNA as well as Southern blot analyses revealed the presence of two MHCIIB genes, both being expressed in spleen, liver, and blood. Characteristic structural features of MHCIIB genes as well as their expression and high non-synonymous substitution rates in the region involved in antigen binding suggest that both genes are functional. MHC organization in the Barn owl is simple compared to passerine species that show multiple duplications, and resembles the minimal essential MHC of chicken.
Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Evolution, Molecular, Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/genetics, Molecular Sequence Data, Strigiformes/genetics
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