A candidate gene for choanal atresia in alpaca

Kent M. Reed, Miranda M. Bauer, Kristelle M. Mendoza, Aníbal G. Armién

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Choanal atresia (CA) is a common nasal craniofacial malformation in New World domestic camelids (alpaca and llama). CA results from abnormal development of the nasal passages and is especially debilitating to newborn crias. CA in camelids shares many of the clinical manifestations of a similar condition in humans (CHARGE syndrome). Herein we report on the regulatory gene CHD7 of alpaca, whose homologue in humans is most frequently associated with CHARGE. Sequence of the CHD7 coding region was obtained from a non-affected cria. The complete coding region was 9003 bp, corresponding to a translated amino acid sequence of 3000 aa. Additional genomic sequences corresponding to a significant portion of the CHD7 gene were identified and assembled from the 2× alpaca whole genome sequence, providing confirmatory sequence for much of the CHD7 coding region. The alpaca CHD7 mRNA sequence was 97.9% similar to the human sequence, with the greatest sequence difference being an insertion in exon 38 that results in a polyalanine repeat (A12). Polymorphism in this repeat was tested for association with CA in alpaca by cloning and sequencing the repeat from both affected and non-affected individuals. Variation in length of the poly-A repeat was not associated with CA. Complete sequencing of the CHD7 gene will be necessary to determine whether other mutations in CHD7 are the cause of CA in camelids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-230
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010


  • Alpaca
  • CHD7
  • Choanal atresia
  • Polyalanine repeat
  • Whole genome sequence


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