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Merle coat color

Are you wondering if your dog is a carrier for merle coat color, why its coat is not merled despite the merle mutation present, and why caution is important when mating dogs with a merle mutation? You can find answers to these and some other questions regarding the inheritance of merle coat color below.   The merle coat color is characterized by irregularly shaped patches of diluted pig...

Effects of selection on genetic health of purebred dogs

Natural selection directs the emergence of new species and the eradication of inherited traits that reduce the animal’s chances of survival. Artificial selection (the formation of dog breeds) is directed by people and their breeding decisions that are not always in line with the principles of natural selection (better survival). Purebred dogs are genetically isolated populations within a species w...

Development of genetic tests

Detecting new mutations and developing genetic tests is one of the first steps in controlling hereditary diseases in a dog population. Genetic tests allow us to avoid hereditary diseases with planned mating and even eradicate them through their informed use.   The development of a genetic test is done in several stages. Cooperation of breeders, veterinarians and researchers is essential...

Storage and re-use of DNA samples of your dog

In previous articles, we have described the entire path of the sample from sampling to results and their interpretation. If biological sample (swab, blood) was of high quality a lot of isolated DNA remains after the analysis, and it can be stored for reuse.   The DNA molecule is stable for a very long time under favourable conditions. Rapid advances in DNA technologies make it possible ...

The journey of my dog’s sample in the genetic lab. Step 3

Interpretation and use of genetic test results   Understanding and correct interpretation of a genetic test result is one of the most important steps in using a genetic test for dog breeding. As we have written in previous blog posts, several steps are important in performing a genetic test: sampling, DNA isolation, test performance, and interpretation of results. With correct interpret...

The journey of my dog’s sample in the genetic lab. Step 2

Step two: Genetic test   A genetic test is an analysis of animal’s DNA used to investigate changes that cause or increase the likelihood of developing specific diseases, responses to therapy, physical characteristics, and the identity of the animal. DNA is a genetic record or code with instructions for functioning of an organism. When a biological sample of your animal (most commonly bl...

The journey of my dog’s sample in the genetic lab

Step one: DNA isolation   All living creatures have genetic material in their cells that determines their characteristics and distinguishes them from each other. In animals, the carrier of genetic information is DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). DNA molecule consists of a sequence of several billions of subunits called nucleotides, which, similar to the sequence of letters in books, gives in...

DNA profile: molecular fingerprint of my dog

DNA profile is a unique molecular fingerprint that does not change over a lifetime and allows unambiguous identification of an animal regardless of its age. DNA profile comprises of the analysis of specific areas on the DNA (markers) that are characterized by changes in length. Due to differences in length, different states or alleles appear in each individual. By analysing enough markers, we get ...

Dog Coat Colors

Throughout history dog coat colors developed through natural and human selection. Protective colors that allowed better survival in nature were favoured by natural selection. When dog was domesticated intense human selection had a major role in the development of new coat colors.   With the emergence of different breeds coat color standards were determined for a particular breed. Select...

What are genetic diseases?

Genetic diseases are caused by one or more changes (mutations) on the DNA. They can be monogenic, where one or more mutations are present in a single gene; polygenic, involving mutations of several genes; or the entire chromosome may be defective. Mutations can be hereditary (passed from parents to offspring) or occur spontaneously during embryonic development (de novo mutations).   The...