01523-A: Genome-wide Association Mapping and Mutation Identification for a Hereditary Ataxia in Airedale Terriers

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $12,960
Dr. Dennis P. O'Brien, DVM PhD, University of Missouri, Columbia
December 1, 2010 - May 31, 2011
Breed(s): Airedale Terrier
Research Program Area: Prevention

Project Summary

Hereditary cerebellar ataxia is a movement disorder recognized in Airedale terriers. Affected dogs show poor coordination from the time they begin to walk. As the first step toward identifying the gene responsible for the disease, the investigators performed a gene mapping study with DNA collected from Airedales affected with ataxia and normal littermates. The study showed the greatest association between the disease and markers on canine chromosome 11. These makers, however, were adjacent to an area that has been "fixed" in the breed. Typically such an area contains a trait which is characteristic of the breed. Since variations within this area could lead to a dog without an important breed characteristic, selective breeding for the best examples of the breed keep this area constant. This means, however, that there is little variation between individuals of the breed within this area, making further mapping of the disease causing gene difficult. A new strategy will be needed to identify a disease causing mutation if it resides within such a fixed area. Sequencing of the entire genome of an individual dog is now cost effective and may be the best strategy to identify a variation within the area of question that causes the disease.

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