Large scale transcriptional analysis of MHC class I haplotype diversity in sheep

Deepali Vasoya, Timothy Connelley, Thomas Tzelos, Helen Todd, Keith T Ballingall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Domestic sheep (Ovis aries) have been an important component of livestock agricultural production for thousands of years. Preserving genetic diversity within livestock populations maintains a capacity to respond to changing environments and rapidly evolving pathogens. MHC genetic diversity can influence immune functionality at individual and population levels. Here, we focus on defining functional MHC class I haplotype diversity in a large cohort of Scottish Blackface sheep pre-selected for high levels of MHC class II DRB1 diversity. Using high-throughput amplicon sequencing with three independent sets of barcoded primers we identified 134 MHC class I transcripts within 38 haplotypes. Haplotypes were identified with between two and six MHC class I genes, plus variable numbers of conserved sequences with very low read frequencies. One or two highly transcribed transcripts dominate each haplotype indicative of two highly polymorphic, classical MHC class I genes. Additional clusters of medium, low, and very low expressed transcripts are described, indicative of lower transcribed classical, non-classical and genes whose function remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere15356
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalHLA: Immune Response Genetics
Issue number2
Early online date2 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Humans
  • Sheep/genetics
  • Animals
  • Haplotypes
  • Genes, MHC Class I/genetics
  • Alleles
  • Genes, MHC Class II


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