Saturday, January 12, 2008

K9 genetics - what can we learn?

This paper is a good review of dog genetics, and discusses the potential that dogs have for understanding the genetics of behavioral traits. P-ter at GNXP has also covered this topic pretty extensively. Here, here, here are some of my previous posts on various aspects of dog genetics.
Some inter
esting facts from this paper:
  • "dogs were domesticated 15,000 to 40,000 years before present"
  • on the farm fox experiment: "despite rigorous selection based solely on behavior, several morphologic traits that typically distinguish domestic dogs from their wild progenitors began to appear in the foxes,19, 20 including widened skulls, shortened snouts, floppy ears, shortened tails, curly tails, and altered coat color patterns. In aggregate, these data suggest a link between selection for behavior and generation of a subset of morphological traits observed in modern domestic dogs.'"
  • the candidate gene approach has not worked in dogs, perhaps due to small samples.
  • LD in dogs is much larger (almost 10 times longer) than it is in humans
Behavioral stuff is fine, but how about disease related traits? Many dogs are now developing diabetes (thanks to us, I assume), and some breeds are at a greater risk of developing diabetes than others . The Samoyed (pictured above) is one of them.

Canine Behavioral Genetics: Pointing Out the Phenotypes and Herding up the Genes

Tyrone C. Spady and Elaine A. Ostrander

The American Journal of Human Genetics
(2008) Volume 82, Issue 1, 10-18
Abstract: An astonishing amount of behavioral variation is captured within the more than 350 breeds of dog recognized worldwide. Inherent in observations of dog behavior is the notion that much of what is observed is breed specific and will persist, even in the absence of training or motivation. Thus, herding, pointing, tracking, hunting, and so forth are likely to be controlled, at least in part, at the genetic level. Recent studies in canine genetics suggest that small numbers of genes control major morphologic phenotypes. By extension, we hypothesize that at least some canine behaviors will also be controlled by small numbers of genes that can be readily mapped. In this review, we describe our current understanding of a representative subset of canine behaviors, as well as approaches for phenotyping, genome-wide scans, and data analysis. Finally, we discuss the applicability of studies of canine behavior to human genetics.

No comments:

Locations of visitors to this page