3 genes for dog coat types

2009-08-28 10:48

Washington - From short to shaggy, nearly all the differences in dogs' coat types result from variations in just three genes, according to researchers studying how genes work together.

"What's important for human health is the way we found the genes involved in dog coats and figured out how they work together, rather than the genes themselves," said Dr Elaine A Ostrander of the National Human Genome Research Institute.

"We think this approach will help pinpoint multiple genes involved in complex human conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity," Ostrander, chief of the cancer genetics branch, said in a statement.

Variations in the DNA, the blueprint for life, in more than 1 000 dogs from 80 breeds were studied by the researchers. The results were then compared to descriptions of various coat types.

The study, published on Thursday in the online edition of the journal Science, found that almost all the varieties of dog coats can be accounted for by combinations of genes called RSPO2, FGF5 and KRT71.

Purebred dogs

The findings apply to purebred dogs: "We don't know enough about the genetics of mutts," commented co-author K Gordon Lark, a biology professor at the University of Utah.

Dogs are descended from wolves and, like wolves, short-haired dogs such as beagles had only the ancestral forms of the three genes, none with variations.

On the other hand, dogs like President Barack Obama's Portuguese Water Dog have variations in all three genes, producing animals with curly hair plus a mustache and large eyebrows.

Other findings:

 - A variation in the RSPO2 gene produces wire-haired dogs.

 - Combine variations in the RSPO2 and KRT71 genes, and you get dogs with wiry and curly hair, such as Airedale terriers.

 - A change in the FGF5 gene results in longhair breeds such as golden retrievers.

 - Long-haired dogs with beards, such as the bearded collie, have variations in both the FGF5 and RSPO2 genes.

 - combining the FGF5 and KRT71 genes results in curly haired dogs such as Irish water spaniels.

The research was paid for by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the Nestle Purina Co, the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation and the University of California, Davis, Veterinary Genetics Laboratory.

- AP

Read more on:    science  |  dogs  |  genetics
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 3 Black 64GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 4G

Retina Display Finally the incredible Retina display technology from the iPhone...

From R7699.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.