Project description:The Greenland wolf, <i>Canis lupus orion</i> as s subspecies of the gray wolf, is native to Greenland. Here, we assembled a complete 16,650?bp genome for the <i>C. l. orion</i> mitochondrion by employing Illumina HiSeq platform. The complete mitochondrial genome contained 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes, two ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes, and one control region. Overall DNA sequence of the <i>C. l. orion</i> mitochondrion was identical to that of gray wolf <i>C. l. lupus</i>, although slight difference was observed in their control regions. The genomic structure of <i>C. l. orion</i> mitochondrion was conserved with the gene arrangements of mitogenomes published in Canidae, and phylogenetic analysis confirmed the sister relationship among <i>Canis</i> sp. This information will provide essential molecular reference to elucidate biogeography, phylogenetic distance, and evolutionary history in gray wolves.
Project description:We present a genome assembly from an individual male <i>Canis lupus orion</i> (the grey wolf, subspecies: Greenland wolf; Chordata; Mammalia; Carnivora; Canidae). The genome sequence is 2,447 megabases in span. The majority of the assembly (98.91%) is scaffolded into 40 chromosomal pseudomolecules, with the X and Y sex chromosomes assembled.
Project description:North America is currently home to a number of grey wolf (Canis lupus) and wolf-like canid populations, including the coyote (Canis latrans) and the taxonomically controversial red, Eastern timber and Great Lakes wolves. We explored their population structure and regional gene flow using a dataset of 40 full genome sequences that represent the extant diversity of North American wolves and wolf-like canid populations. This included 15 new genomes (13 North American grey wolves, 1 red wolf and 1 Eastern timber/Great Lakes wolf), ranging from 0.4 to 15x coverage. In addition to providing full genome support for the previously proposed coyote-wolf admixture origin for the taxonomically controversial red, Eastern timber and Great Lakes wolves, the discriminatory power offered by our dataset suggests all North American grey wolves, including the Mexican form, are monophyletic, and thus share a common ancestor to the exclusion of all other wolves. Furthermore, we identify three distinct populations in the high arctic, one being a previously unidentified "Polar wolf" population endemic to Ellesmere Island and Greenland. Genetic diversity analyses reveal particularly high inbreeding and low heterozygosity in these Polar wolves, consistent with long-term isolation from the other North American wolves.
Project description:The evolutionary history of the wolf-like canids of the genus Canis has been heavily debated, especially regarding the number of distinct species and their relationships at the population and species level [1-6]. We assembled a dataset of 48 resequenced genomes spanning all members of the genus Canis except the black-backed and side-striped jackals, encompassing the global diversity of seven extant canid lineages. This includes eight new genomes, including the first resequenced Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis), one dhole (Cuon alpinus), two East African hunting dogs (Lycaon pictus), two Eurasian golden jackals (Canis aureus), and two Middle Eastern gray wolves (Canis lupus). The relationships between the Ethiopian wolf, African golden wolf, and golden jackal were resolved. We highlight the role of interspecific hybridization in the evolution of this charismatic group. Specifically, we find gene flow between the ancestors of the dhole and African hunting dog and admixture between the gray wolf, coyote (Canis latrans), golden jackal, and African golden wolf. Additionally, we report gene flow from gray and Ethiopian wolves to the African golden wolf, suggesting that the African golden wolf originated through hybridization between these species. Finally, we hypothesize that coyotes and gray wolves carry genetic material derived from a "ghost" basal canid lineage.
Project description:Vocal divergence within species often corresponds to morphological, environmental, and genetic differences between populations. Wolf howls are long-range signals that encode individual, group, and subspecies differences, yet the factors that may drive this variation are poorly understood. Furthermore, the taxonomic division within the <i>Canis</i> genus remains contended and additional data are required to clarify the position of the Himalayan, North African, and Indian wolves within <i>Canis lupus</i>. We recorded 451 howls from the 3 most basal wolf lineages-Himalayan <i>C. lupus chanco</i>-Himalayan haplotype, North African <i>C. lupus lupaster</i>, and Indian <i>C. lupus pallipes</i> wolves-and present a howl acoustic description within each clade. With an additional 619 howls from 7 Holarctic subspecies, we used a random forest classifier and principal component analysis on 9 acoustic parameters to assess whether Himalayan, North African, and Indian wolf howls exhibit acoustic differences compared to each other and Holarctic wolf howls. Generally, both the North African and Indian wolf howls exhibited high mean fundamental frequency (F0) and short duration compared to the Holarctic clade. In contrast, the Himalayan wolf howls typically had lower mean F0, unmodulated frequencies, and short howls compared to Holarctic wolf howls. The Himalayan and North African wolves had the most acoustically distinct howls and differed significantly from each other and to the Holarctic wolves. Along with the influence of body size and environmental differences, these results suggest that genetic divergence and/or geographic distance may play an important role in understanding howl variation across subspecies.
Project description:Following the production of western gray wolf (Canis lupus) x western coyote (Canis latrans) hybrids via artificial insemination (AI), the present article documents that the hybrids survived in captivity for at least 4 years and successfully bred with each other. It further reports that backcrossing one of the hybrids to a male gray wolf by AI also resulted in the birth of live pups that have survived for at least 10 months. All male hybrids (F1 and F2) produced sperm by about 10 months of age, and sperm quality of the F1 males fell within the fertile range for domestic dogs, but sperm motility and morphology, in particular, were low in F2 males at 10 months but improved in samples taken at 22 months of age. These studies are relevant to a long-standing controversy about the identity of the red wolf (Canis rufus), the existence of a proposed new species (Canis lycaon) of gray wolf, and to the role of hybridization in mammalian evolution.
Project description:Pathogen surveillance in free-ranging carnivores presents challenges due to their low densitie and secretive nature. We combined molecular and serological assays to investigate infections by viral pathogens (Canine parvovirus (CPV), Canine distemper virus (CDV) and Canine coronavirus (CCoV)) in Portuguese carnivores (Canis lupus, Vulpes vulpes, Lutra lutra, Martes foina, M. martes, Meles meles, and Genetta genetta) over a period of 16 years. Additionally we explored spatio-temporal patterns of virus occurrence in Canis lupus. Our study identified CPV DNA in all carnivore species with an overall prevalence of 91.9 %. CPV was detected in all sampled years and seasons in Canis lupus, supporting its enzootic nature. CDV RNA was mainly detected in the Canidae family, with viral nucleic acid recorded between 2005 and 2008 with a peak prevalence of 67 % among the wolf population, followed by a sharp decline, suggesting an epizootic behaviour of the virus. Antibodies show that mustelids and viverrids were often exposed to CDV. CCoV was first recorded by molecular methods in wolf samples in 2002, remaining in the wolf populations with marked fluctuations over time. The dual serological and molecular approach provided important epidemiological data on pathogens of wild carnivores in Portugal. These programmes should also include monitoring of other potential reservoir hosts such as domestic cats and dogs.
Project description:The recent discovery of a lineage of gray wolf in North-East Africa suggests the presence of a cryptic canid on the continent, the African wolf Canis lupus lupaster. We analyzed the mtDNA diversity (cytochrome b and control region) of a series of African Canis including wolf-like animals from North and West Africa. Our objectives were to assess the actual range of C. l. lupaster, to further estimate the genetic characteristics and demographic history of its lineage, and to question its taxonomic delineation from the golden jackal C. aureus, with which it has been considered synonymous. We confirmed the existence of four distinct lineages within the gray wolf, including C. lupus/familiaris (Holarctic wolves and dogs), C. l. pallipes, C. l. chanco and C. l. lupaster. Taxonomic assignment procedures identified wolf-like individuals from Algeria, Mali and Senegal, as belonging to C. l. lupaster, expanding its known distribution c. 6,000 km to the west. We estimated that the African wolf lineage (i) had the highest level of genetic diversity within C. lupus, (ii) coalesced during the Late Pleistocene, contemporaneously with Holarctic wolves and dogs, and (iii) had an effective population size of c. 80,000 females. Our results suggest that the African wolf is a relatively ancient gray wolf lineage with a fairly large, past effective population size, as also suggested by the Pleistocene fossil record. Unique field observations in Senegal allowed us to provide a morphological and behavioral diagnosis of the African wolf that clearly distinguished it from the sympatric golden jackal. However, the detection of C. l. lupaster mtDNA haplotypes in C. aureus from Senegal brings the delineation between the African wolf and the golden jackal into question. In terms of conservation, it appears urgent to further characterize the status of the African wolf with regard to the African golden jackal.