Genetic mapping of fixed phenotypes: disease frequency as a breed characteristic

J Hered. 2009 Jul-Aug;100 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S37-41. doi: 10.1093/jhered/esp011. Epub 2009 Mar 25.


Traits that have been stringently selected to conform to specific criteria in a closed population are phenotypic stereotypes. In dogs, Canis familiaris, such stereotypes have been produced by breeding for conformation, performance (behaviors), etc. We measured phenotypes on a representative sample to establish breed stereotypes. DNA samples from 147 dog breeds were used to characterize single nucleotide polymorphism allele frequencies for association mapping of breed stereotypes. We identified significant size loci (quantitative trait loci [QTLs]), implicating candidate genes appropriate to regulation of size (e.g., IGF1, IGF2BP2 SMAD2, etc.). Analysis of other morphological stereotypes, also under extreme selection, identified many additional significant loci. Behavioral loci for herding, pointing, and boldness implicated candidate genes appropriate to behavior (e.g., MC2R, DRD1, and PCDH9). Significant loci for longevity, a breed characteristic inversely correlated with breed size, were identified. The power of this approach to identify loci regulating the incidence of specific polygenic diseases is demonstrated by the association of a specific IGF1 haplotype with hip dysplasia, patella luxation, and pancreatitis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Size
  • Breeding*
  • Chromosome Mapping / veterinary*
  • Dogs / genetics*
  • Dogs / growth & development
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Hip Dysplasia, Canine / genetics
  • Longevity / genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Quantitative Trait Loci