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Discovery of gene mutation for drug sensitivity at Veterinary Genetics Laboratory also sheds light on the collie's "family tree"

July 27, 2004

genetic mutation associated with drug sensitivities in colliesLearn more about canine genetics and the findings of School of Veterinary Medicine researcher Mark Neff, et al, regarding a genetic mutation associated with drug sensitivities in collie-related breeds in a scientific article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. An abstract of this scientific article is included below: 

A mutation in the canine multidrug resistance gene, MDR1, has previously been associated with drug sensitivities in two breeds from the collie lineage. We exploited breed phylogeny and reports of drug sensitivity to survey other purebred populations that might be genetically at-risk. We found that the same allele, mdr1-1 ?, segregated in seven additional breeds, including two sighthounds that were not expected to share collie ancestry. A mutant haplotype that was conserved among affected breeds indicated that the allele was identical-by-descent. Based on breed histories and the extent of linkage disequilibrium, we conclude that all dogs currently carrying mdr1-1 ? are descendants of a dog that lived in Great Britain before the genetic isolation of breeds by registry (circa 1873). The breed distribution and frequency of mdr1-1 ? have applications in veterinary medicine and selective breeding, while the allele’s history recounts the emergence of formally recognized breeds from an admixed population of working sheepdogs.

For access to the complete article, please go to:
Supporting material and images of dog breeds are also located at this site.

Mark W. Neff, Ph.D., School of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Genetics Laboratory