The 84th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2015)

An efficient novel technique for genotyping MHC-DRB exon 2 in primates


Department of Anthropology, New York University, New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology

March 28, 2015 , Gateway Ballroom 2/3/4/5 Add to calendar

The Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) contains numerous genes that are essential to the immune system and are some of the most diverse in the human genome. Variation at these genes is biomedically important due to their association with pathogen susceptibility, autoimmune diseases, organ and stem cell rejection, and maternal-fetal histoincompatibility; and MHC loci are known to influence mate choice in some taxa. These connections to disease risk and sexual selection have encouraged the study of MHC in non-human primates, both captive and wild. However, prior to the adoption of massively parallel sequencing technology, methods for genotyping MHC loci have been time consuming and labor intensive. Building on recent methods, I have created a novel technique for library preparation for the Illumina platform to sequence a portion of the MHC-DRB exon 2 in primates. The technique allows the efficient multiplexing of hundreds of individuals, and, in a single PCR step, incorporates self-correcting dual indexed barcodes to identify individuals and "heterogeneity spacers" to avoid low complexity libraries. Alongside the technique, I have released a program to design indexed adaptors with custom priming sequences for the amplification of other MHC loci.

Support for the research was provided by the Wenner-Gren Foundation.