01849: Filling the Gaps in the Canine Genome

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $108,000
Shaying Zhao, PhD; University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc
January 1, 2013 - December 31, 2014

Sponsor(s): Afghan Hound Club of America, Bichon Frise Club of America, Inc., Chihuahua Club of America, Norwich Terrier Club of America, Papillon Club of America, Pug Dog Club of America, Inc., Scottish Terrier Club of America, Yorkshire Terrier Club of America Foundation, Inc.

Breed(s): Boxer
Research Program Area: Cardiology
Donate to Support this Research Program Area


The sequencing of the genome of man's best friend in 2005 has provided an invaluable resource to the canine research community, and has reinforced the position of the dog as an important model organism to study human physiology and disease. Unlike the human and the rodent models (the mouse and the rat), very few dog genes had been sequenced prior to its whole genome sequencing. Consequently, the dog genome has been annotated for its gene content primarily based on mapping the gene-related sequences from the human, the mouse, the rat, and other non-dog species to the dog genome. While providing the research community with an unprecedentedly large set of dog genes, the definition of DNA sequences as coding sequences (i.e. gene annotation) has substantial errors and is missing in dog-specific information in many aspects. This significantly hinders research in many fields such as disease gene discovery and cancer-causative gene mutation identification, where functional information about a gene is required to make progress. Dr. Zhao will use state of the art next-generation sequencing strategies to identify genes/transcripts expressed in major dog tissues and cell types. The valuable data, along with more refined sequence alignment between the dog and other species, will be used to build the most accurate and complete annotation of the dog genome for its gene annotation. The project will significantly facilitate research in areas of canine health most significant to the AKC Canine Health Foundation constituency and lead to important RNA-based (transcriptomic) and protein-based (proteomic) research in the future.


Li, Y., Xu, J., Xiong, H., Ma, Z., Wang, Z., Kipreos, E. T., … Zhao, S. (2014). Cancer driver candidate genes AVL9, DENND5A and NUPL1 contribute to MDCK cystogenesis. Oncoscience, 1, 854. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncoscience.107

Liu, D., Xiong, H., Ellis, A. E., Northrup, N. C., Rodriguez, C. O., O’Regan, R. M., … Zhao, S. (2014). Molecular Homology and Difference between Spontaneous Canine Mammary Cancer and Human Breast Cancer. Cancer Research, 74(18), 5045–5056. https://doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-14-0392

Liu, Deli, Xiong, H., Ellis, A. E., Northrup, N. C., Dobbin, K. K., Shin, D. M., & Zhao, S. (2015). Canine Spontaneous Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas Represent Their Human Counterparts at the Molecular Level. PLOS Genetics, 11(6), e1005277. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1005277

Wang, J., Wang, T., Bishop, M. A., Edwards, J. F., Yin, H., Dalton, S., … Zhao, S. (2018). Collaborating genomic, transcriptomic and microbiomic alterations lead to canine extreme intestinal polyposis. Oncotarget, 9(49). https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25646

Help Future Generations of Dogs

Participate in canine health research by providing samples or by enrolling in a clinical trial. Samples are needed from healthy dogs and dogs affected by specific diseases.

Learn How to Help

Get Canine Health News:
Please leave this field empty
American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, Inc

8051 Arco Corporate Dr.
Suite 300
Raleigh, NC 27617

Tax ID# 13-3813813


© 2021 AKC Canine Health Foundation | Privacy Policy | Site Map

Site by Blackbaud, Inc.