2442: Investigation of Candidate Loci for Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $117,477
Dr. Simon M. Petersen-Jones, DVM PhD; Michigan State University
June 1, 2003 - December 31, 2005
Sponsor(s): American Belgian Tervuren Club, Inc., Belgian Sheepdog Club of America, Inc., Collie Health Foundation, Old English Sheepdog Club of America, Papillon Club of America, Tibetan Terrier Club of America/Tibetan Terrier Health & Welfare Foundation
Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Prevention


Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a common cause of blindness in purebred dogs. It is an inherited disease and there are several different forms resulting from defects in different genes. Most forms are due to a defect in a single gene and are inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. We have been investigating genes that could cause this disease and seeing if they are the cause of PRA in several breeds of dog. In one breed we have evidence that the PRA is caused by a defect at a genetic locus already known to be responsible for PRA in several other breeds. We have shown that this locus is not involved in PRA in the other breeds. We wish to investigate a further 50 genes to see if they are involved in PRA in any breeds. If we identify the gene defect that causes the disease in one or more breeds we will develop a DNA test for the defective gene. Such a test will allow breeders to eradicate PRA from their breed.

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