Immunological Distances among some Gallinaceous Birds

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INFORMATION on phylogeny and systematics can be obtained from immunological relationships since red-cell antigens are gene-determined. To measure the immunological relationships between two species the following formula was used: where Oa and Ob are titres with homologous cells (using anti-a and anti-b sera), and Ea and Eb are titres with heterologous ones. This value is named ‘immunological distance’, because it will tend to increase as the biochemical relationship, that is the proportion of common antigens, decreases1.

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MAINARDI, D. Immunological Distances among some Gallinaceous Birds. Nature 184, 913–914 (1959) doi:10.1038/184913b0

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