Mate Choice and the Devil

The Role of MHC Genes in Tasmanian Devil Reproductive Success 

Studies on a wide range of species indicate that females, given a choice, will often choose males that have a greater dissimilarity from themselves in a regional of genes called Major Histocompatibility (MHC) region.  More importantly, both reproductive success and health of offspring may be affected by the degree of MHC similarity between breeding pairs. We are investigating whether MHC drives mate choice in Tasmanian Devils , and what implications this has for reproductive success of our breeding programs.

Project Partners

Taronga: Dr Rebecca Spindler
University of Sydney: Prof Kathy Belov, Ms Tracey Russell
Zoo and Aquarium Association: Dr Carolyn Hogg

For more information contact:

Taronga Conservation Science Initiative

Contact: 
Rebecca Spindler, Manager, Research and Conservation
Phone: 
+61 2 9978 4608

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