The species origin of Yunnan gayal has been controversial since many years. However, few recent genetic studies have suggested that it has perhaps originated from the hybridization between male Bos frontalis and female B. taurus or B. indicus. Being an important semi-wild bovid species, this has also been listed under the red list of International Union of Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. However, there is limited information available about the immunogenicity of this precarious species of Bos. Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays a pivotal role in immune response to infectious diseases in vertebrates. In the present study, we have investigated the structural and functional characteristics and possible duplication of the MHC-DQA genes in gayal (B. frontalis). Two full-length cDNA clones of the MHC-DQA genes were amplified and designated as Bofr-DQA1 (DQA*0101) and Bofr-DQA2 (DQA*2001) with GenBank accession numbers KT318732 and KT318733, respectively. A comparison between Bofr- DQA1, Bofr-DQA2 and to other MHC-DQA molecules from different animal species showed that nucleotide and encoded amino acid sequences of these two identifiedMHC-DQA genes have more similarity to alleles of specific DQA1 and DQA2 molecules from other Ruminantia species than to each other. The phylogenic investigation also demonstrated a large genetic distance between these two genes than to homologous from the other species. The large genetic distance between Bofr-DQA1 and Bofr-DQA2, and the presence of different bovine DQA putative motifs clarify that these sequences are nonallelic type. These results could suggest that duplication of the DQA genes has also occurred in gayal. The findings of the present study have strengthened our understanding to MHC diversity in rare ruminants and mutation of immunological functions, selective and evolutionary forces that affect MHC variation within and between species.
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