The complete sequences of Takifugu Toll-like receptor (TLR) loci and gene predictions from many draft genomes enable comprehensive molecular phylogenetic analysis. Strong selective pressure for recognition of and response to pathogen-associated molecular patterns has maintained a largely unchanging TLR recognition in all vertebrates. There are six major families of vertebrate TLRs. This repertoire is distinct from that of invertebrates. TLRs within a family recognize a general class of pathogen-associated molecular patterns. Most vertebrates have exactly one gene ortholog for each TLR family. The family including TLR1 has more species-specific adaptations than other families. A major family including TLR11 is represented in humans only by a pseudogene. Coincidental evolution plays a minor role in TLR evolution. The sequencing phase of this study produced finished genomic sequences for the 12 Takifugu rubripes TLRs. In addition, we have produced > 70 gene models, including sequences from the opossum, chicken, frog, dog, sea urchin, and sea squirt. ?? 2005 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.