Dog leucocyte antigen class II diversity and relationships among indigenous dogs of the island nations of Indonesia (Bali), Australia and New Guinea

Tissue Antigens. 2006 Nov;68(5):418-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0039.2006.00696.x.


The genetic polymorphism at the dog leucocyte antigen (DLA) class II loci DQA1, DQB1 and DRB1 was studied in a large genetically diverse population of feral and wild-type dogs from the large island nations of Indonesia (Bali), Australia and New Guinea (Bali street dog, dingo and New Guinea singing dog, respectively). Sequence-based typing (SBT) of the hypervariable region of DLA-DRB1, -DQA1 and -DQB1 alleles was used to determine genetic diversity. No new DQA1 alleles were recognized among the three dog populations, but five novel DLA-DRB1 and 2 novel DLA-DQB1 allele sequences were detected. Additional unknown alleles were postulated to exist in Bali street dogs, as indicated by the large percentage of individuals (15%-33%) that had indeterminate DRB1, DQA1 and DQB1 alleles by SBT. All three groups of dogs possessed alleles that were relatively uncommon in conventional purebreds. The New Guinea singing dog and dingo shared alleles that were not present in the Bali street dogs. These findings suggested that the dingo was more closely related to indigenous dogs from New Guinea. Feral dog populations, in particular large ones such as that of Bali, show genetic diversity that existed prior to phenotypic selection for breeds originating from their respective regions. This diversity needs to be identified and maintained in the face of progressive Westernization. These populations deserve further study as potential model populations for the evolution of major histocompatibility complex alleles, for the study of canine genetic diversity, for the development of dog breeds and for studies on the comigration of ancestral human and dog populations.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Australia
  • Dogs / genetics*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / classification
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / genetics*
  • Indonesia
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • New Guinea
  • Phylogeny
  • Sequence Alignment


  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II