Data from: Is MHC diversity a better marker for conservation than neutral genetic diversity? a case study of two contrasting dolphin populations
Manlik, Oliver, United Arab Emirates University
Krutzen, Michael, University of Zurich
Kopps, Anna M., UNSW Sydney
Mann, Janet, Georgetown University
Bejder, Lars, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Allen, Simon J., University of Bristol
Frere, Celine, University of the Sunshine Coast
Connor, Richard C., Biology Department UMASS‐Dartmouth Dartmouth Massachusetts
Sherwin, William B., UNSW Sydney
Published May 24, 2019 on Dryad.
Cite this dataset
Manlik, Oliver et al. (2019). Data from: Is MHC diversity a better marker for conservation than neutral genetic diversity? a case study of two contrasting dolphin populations [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.73k278d
Genetic diversity is essential for populations to adapt to changing environments. Measures of genetic diversity are often based on selectively neutral markers, such as microsatellites. Genetic diversity to guide conservation management, however, is better reflected by adaptive markers, including genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Our aim was to assess MHC and neutral genetic diversity in two contrasting bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) populations in Western Australia—one apparently viable population with high reproductive output (Shark Bay) and one with lower reproductive output that was forecast to decline (Bunbury). We assessed genetic variation in the two populations by sequencing the MHC class II DQB, which encompasses the functionally important peptide binding regions (PBR). Neutral genetic diversity was assessed by genotyping twenty‐three microsatellite loci.
We confirmed that MHC is an adaptive marker in both populations. Overall, the Shark Bay population exhibited greater MHC diversity than the Bunbury population—for example, it displayed greater MHC nucleotide diversity. In contrast, the difference in microsatellite diversity between the two populations was comparatively low.
Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that viable populations typically display greater genetic diversity than less viable populations. The results also suggest that MHC variation is more closely associated with population viability than neutral genetic variation. Although the inferences from our findings are limited, because we only compared two populations, our results add to a growing number of studies that highlight the usefulness of MHC as a potentially suitable genetic marker for animal conservation. The Shark Bay population, which carries greater adaptive genetic diversity than the Bunbury population, is thus likely more robust to natural or human‐induced changes to the coastal ecosystem it inhabits.
MHC sequence & micorsatellite diversity of bottlenose dolphins
This supplementary data file contains the following: MHC class II DQB sequence alignment (Fig. A1); Microsatellite primer sequences and information on multiplexing and microsatellite alleles detected in dolphin populations (Table A1); Sampling information for conservative sampling approach (Table A2); Microsatellite and MHC II DQB diversity measures for East and West Shark Bay (Table A3); MHC II DQB sequence variants and BLASTN hits (GenBank) (Table A4); ANOVA test results, comparing microsatellite diversity measures between subsamples of the Shark Bay population (Table A5).
Dryad supplementary data Manlik et al. 2019.pdf
National Science Foundation, Award: 0918308; 0941487; 1559380