01018-A: Comparative Gene Discovery for Canine Cryptorchidism

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $12,960
Max F. Rothschild, PhD; Iowa State University
October 1, 2007 - September 30, 2008

Sponsor(s): Collie Health Foundation

Breed(s): Siberian Husky
Research Program Area: Reproductive Conditions
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Project Summary

In order to establish a genetic diagnostic test to predict the risk of cryptorchidism in a dog or its progeny, we investigated the association of candidate genes with cryptorchidism in Siberian Husky families. To date, 34 candidate genes have been chosen and 74 DNA markers (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms, SNPs) have been found in these genes. DNA samples have been extracted from buccal swabs of 167 Siberian Huskies including sires, dams and male or female offspring from 65 dog families (we plan to continue sample collection until we reach the requirement described in our proposal). The dog samples were collected by individual dog owners with buccal swabs supplied by us. By using direct sequencing or restriction enzyme digestion, 44 SNPs have been genotyped in the 16 pairs of full-sibs (no more full-sibling pairs could be found in current dogs). Six important SNPs were found that appeared to be associated with cryptorchidism from the full-siblings statistical analyses and have been genotyped further in all dogs. More SNPs are still being discovered, and need to be genotyped completely in the remaining dog samples. Statistical analyses have been completed with current SNP data. Four genes showed likely associations with cryptorchidism in Siberian Huskies. All the results require further confirmation. Additional DNA markers need to be discovered for these genes in more dogs to confirm the possibility of an association with this defect. One publication and one poster are planed to be completed in the next few months. Our plans are to continue with this project if further grant support is available. This includes attempting to find additional SNPs in potentially associated genes, collecting more informative dog samples, genotyping more dog samples to find the causative mutations, and hopefully designing a genetic diagnostic test for dog breeders.


Zhao, X., Du, Z.-Q., & Rothschild, M. F. (2010). An association study of 20 candidate genes with cryptorchidism in Siberian Husky dogs: Association study of candidate genes with cryptorchidism. Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics, 127(4), 327–331. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0388.2010.00859.x

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