Strong selection signatures for Aleutian disease tolerance acting on novel candidate genes linked to immune and cellular responses in American mink (Neogale vison)

Sci Rep. 2024 Jan 10;14(1):1035. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-51039-7.


Aleutian disease (AD) is a multi-systemic infectious disease in American mink (Neogale vison) caused by Aleutian mink disease virus (AMDV). This study aimed to identify candidate regions and genes underlying selection for response against AMDV using whole-genome sequence (WGS) data. Three case-control selection signatures studies were conducted between animals (N = 85) producing high versus low antibody levels against AMDV, grouped by counter immunoelectrophoresis (CIEP) test and two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Within each study, selection signals were detected using fixation index (FST) and nucleotide diversity (θπ ratios), and validated by cross-population extended haplotype homozygosity (XP-EHH) test. Within- and between-studies overlapping results were then evaluated. Within-studies overlapping results indicated novel candidate genes related to immune and cellular responses (e.g., TAP2, RAB32), respiratory system function (e.g., SPEF2, R3HCC1L), and reproduction system function (e.g., HSF2, CFAP206) in other species. Between-studies overlapping results identified three large segments under strong selection pressure, including two on chromosome 1 (chr1:88,770-98,281 kb and chr1:114,133-120,473) and one on chromosome 6 (chr6:37,953-44,279 kb). Within regions with strong signals, we found novel candidate genes involved in immune and cellular responses (e.g., homologous MHC class II genes, ITPR3, VPS52) in other species. Our study brings new insights into candidate regions and genes controlling AD response.

MeSH terms

  • Aleutian Mink Disease Virus* / genetics
  • Aleutian Mink Disease* / genetics
  • Animals
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 1
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 6
  • Humans
  • Mink / genetics