ESR 32:135-144 (2017)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00790

Characterization of genetic variation and basis of inflammatory bowel disease in the Toll-like receptor 5 gene of the red wolf and the maned wolf

Lauren H. Henson1,2,*, Nucharin Songsasen3, Will Waddell4, Karen N. Wolf4, Louise Emmons5, Susana Gonzalez6, Elizabeth Freeman7, Jesus Maldonado1

1Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics, 3001 Connecticut Ave., NW Washington, DC 20008, USA
2Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University, 4400 University Dr., VA 22030, USA
3Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Center for Species Survival, 1500 Remount Rd., Front Royal, VA 22630, USA
4Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, 5400 N Pearl St., Tacoma, WA 98407, USA
5Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, 10th St. & Constitution Ave., NW Washington, DC 20560, USA
6Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable, Ministerio de Educación y Cultura, Av. Italia 3318, CP 11600, Montevideo, Uruguay
7School of Integrative Studies, George Mason University, 4400 University Dr., VA 22030, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Characterizing Toll-like receptors across taxa can lead to an increasingly accurate documentation of the evolutionary processes acting within this receptor class, as well as a greater understanding of the diseases associated with these receptors. This study examines 2 sequenced portions of the Toll-like receptor 5 (TLRS5) protein coding gene in 2 imperiled canid species: the Near Threatened maned wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus and the Critically Endangered red wolf Canis rufus, to characterize genetic variation and investigate the presence of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously associated with canine inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Both maned and red wolves suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, threatening the sustainability of their crucial ex situ populations. Here we report novel polymorphic positions found in maned and red wolf TLR5, differences in variation with regard to nucleotide polymorphisms and resulting amino acid variation among maned wolves, red wolves, gray wolves and domestic dogs. Domestic dog SNPs associated with IBD were not found to be polymorphic in maned wolves and red wolves. Samples of both focal species and gray wolves lack the protective alleles present in many dog breeds, suggesting a potential genetic predisposition for IBD in these 2 wild canid species and a possible development of these protective alleles post domestication. This potential predisposition informs ex situ management practices and treatment for IBD.


KEY WORDS: Maned wolf · Red wolf · Toll-like receptor 5 · Inflammatory bowel disease


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Cite this article as: Henson LH, Songsasen N, Waddell W, Wolf KN and others (2017) Characterization of genetic variation and basis of inflammatory bowel disease in the Toll-like receptor 5 gene of the red wolf and the maned wolf. Endang Species Res 32:135-144. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00790

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