Toll-like receptors (TLR) are recognition receptors of the innate immune system that have been conserved in both invertebrate and vertebrate species. There is some evidence that genetic diversity at TLR genes may correlate with immunocompetence in several species. To better understand variation in TLR genes in Nigerian goats, we amplified, sequenced and aligned TLR1, 2, 3 and 5 in a panel of 15 – 20 animals to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We identified 13 mutations in TLR3, 5 in TLR2 and 2 in TLR1. We did not find any SNPs in TLR5. The higher number of mutations in TLR3 gene in Nigerian goats demonstrates abundant genetic diversity. The phylogenetic relationship showed that TLR1 on one hand and TLR2 and 3 on the other closely related respectively. These results may suggest co-evolutionary function in goats, and strongly indicate ability of these gene products to identify different pathogens.
Keywords: Nigerian Goats, toll-like receptor genes, genetic diversity