For populations that experienced historical population bottlenecks, subsequent contemporary bottlenecks may continue to degrade genetic diversity at loci that are still variable. However, it is currently unclear how different types of contemporary bottlenecks may affect diversity at functional versus neutral loci. In this study, we examine genetic diversity of microsatellite, major histocompatibility complex (MHC), and toll-like receptor (TLR) loci of three New Zealand South Island saddleback (Philesturnus carunculatus) populations: Big Island, Kaimohu Island and Motuara Island.
Studies of wildlife populations have identified associations between disease resistance and diversity at genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), which are involved with adaptive immunity. We compare MHC class II B (MHCIIB) and microsatellite genetic diversity in a population of New Zealand passerine birds, North Island saddlebacks on Mokoia Island, that was also tested for avian malaria.