Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Extensive MHC variability in cichlid fishes of Lake Malawi

Abstract

LAKE Malawi in East Africa harbours 500–1,000 endemic species of cichlid fishes, all presumably derived by adaptive radiation from a single founding population within the past two million years1–3. The species of this 'flock' differ strikingly in their ecology and behaviour4, moderately in their external morphology1 and very little in their molecular characteristics5,6. Here we describe high sequence variability of class II major histocompatibility complex genes in a sample of species from Lake Malawi. The variability provides a set of molecular markers for studying adaptive radiation and should be useful for estimating the size of the population that founded the species flock.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Eccles, D. H. & Trewavas, E. Malawian Cichlid Fishes (Lake Fish Movies, Herten, Germany, 1989).

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Lewis, D., Reinthal, P. & Trendall, J. A Guide to the Fishes of Lake Malawi National Park (WWF World Conservation Center, Gland, 1986).

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Fryer, G. & Iles, T. D. The Cichlid Fishes of the Great Lakes of Africa (Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh, 1972).

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Fryer, G. Proc. zool. Soc. Lond. 132, 153–281 (1959).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    MacKaye, K. R., Kocher, T., Reinthal, P. & Kornfield, I. Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 76, 91–96 (1982).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Kornfield, I. in Cichlid Fishes. Behavior, Ecology and Evolution (ed. Keenleyside, M. H. A.) 103–128 (Chapman & Hall, London, 1991).

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Klein, J. Natural History of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (Wiley, New York, 1986).

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Klein, J. & Figueroa, F. CRC Crit. Rev. Immun. 6, 295–386 (1986).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Ono, H. et al. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 89, 11886–11890 (1992).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Ono, H., O'hUigin, C., Tichy, H. & Klein, J. Molec. Biol. Evol. (In the press).

  11. 11

    Zhu, Z., Vincek, V., Figueroa, F., Schönbach, C. & Klein, J. Molec. Biol. Evol. 8, 563–578 (1991).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Sanger, F., Nicklen, S. & Coulson, A. R. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 74, 5463–5467 (1977).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Saitou, N. & Nei, M. Molec. Biol. Evol. 4, 406–425 (1987).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Kimura, M. J. molec. Evol. 16, 111–120 (1980).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Klein, D., Ono, H., O'hUigin, C. et al. Extensive MHC variability in cichlid fishes of Lake Malawi. Nature 364, 330–334 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1038/364330a0

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing