Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/27/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A Interpretive Summary: A closed flock of Beltsville Small White (BSW) turkeys has been maintained at the National Animal Disease Center since 1962. BSW turkeys have been utilized as an experimental model in the study of bacterial, parasitic, and fungal diseases. There are specific molecules on the surface of white blood cells that are important in the early immune response to diseases. The present studies characterized these molecules in BSW turkeys at the DN level. We found that the BSW turkeys are unique for these molecules compared to commercial turkey lines.
Technical Abstract: Beltsville Small White (BSW) turkeys have been utilized as an experimental model in the study of bacterial, parasitic, and fungal diseases. Given the critical role of MHC antigens in the initial steps of the immune response to specific pathogens, we have characterized the MHC class II of BSW turkeys. Southern blot analysis of Pvu II-digested turkey DNA hybridized with a chicken class II beta gene genomic clone revealed two restriction fragment length polymorphism profiles not previously identified in experimental or commercial breeder lines of turkeys. These fingerprint profiles differed in a single 6.0 kb band that was present in approximately 38% of the birds examined. The DNA fragments of 5.0, 4.1, 3.3, and 3.1 were present in both profiles. Furthermore, no mixed lymphocyte reaction was observed between individuals within the BSW turkey line. The present results indicate that BSW turkeys represent a unique source of genetic diversity for MHC class II.