ORCID Identifier(s)


Document Type

Honors Thesis


A Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is a cell-surface molecule encoded by a large gene family in all vertebrate DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). The MHC determines susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. These genes are highly polymorphic, meaning that in a non-endogamic population, each organism has a unique set of MHC genes and molecules. Evolution of the MHC through polymorphism ensures a population will not succumb to a new or mutated pathogen, because some individuals will develop an adequate immune response to defeat the pathogen. Because of this, finding MHC genes in transcriptomes is important for finding genetic variability in the immune systems of a species. Looking at the transcriptomes of the mourning gecko (Lepidodactylus lugubris) will allow observation and analysis of the genetic variation in this species. Even though this particular gecko is asexual and reproduces through parthenogenesis, environmental factors may play a part in immune variation resulting in inheritance of different MHC molecules.

Publication Date




Faculty Mentor of Honors Project

Matthew K Fujita



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