College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Graduation Date


Document Type


Department/Program Conferring Degree

Biological Sciences


B Lymphocyte, Apoptosis, chB6, Genetics, Birds


Chickens are one of the classic models of vertebrate immunity. We have been interested in the role of the alloantigen chB6 (formerly called BU1) in the development of B cells within the bursa and have presented evidence that chB6 can trigger apoptosis. chB6 is an alloantigen and in the original report of its cloning three alleles were reported, chB6.1 in RPL line 6 flocks, chB6.2 in RPL line 7, and chB6.3 in Light Sussex birds. However, no further search for other chB6 alleles has been reported. Using the chicken EST database we have identified four potential new alleles of chB6, although some of these EST clones are not full length cDNAs. We have resequenced these EST clones to confirm the base sequence and amino acid translation. These results suggest greater genetic diversity of the chB6 locus than previously appreciated. Furthermore, rt-PCR was used to clone the turkey homologue of chB6. The results presented here are the beginnings of a larger study to examine chB6’s role in B cell development that may provide novel insights into the evolution of immune related genes in all avian species.