A COL11A2 mutation in Labrador retrievers with mild disproportionate dwarfism

PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e60149. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060149. Epub 2013 Mar 20.


We describe a mild form of disproportionate dwarfism in Labrador Retrievers, which is not associated with any obvious health problems such as secondary arthrosis. We designate this phenotype as skeletal dysplasia 2 (SD2). It is inherited as a monogenic autosomal recessive trait with incomplete penetrance primarily in working lines of the Labrador Retriever breed. Using 23 cases and 37 controls we mapped the causative mutation by genome-wide association and homozygosity mapping to a 4.44 Mb interval on chromosome 12. We re-sequenced the genome of one affected dog at 30x coverage and detected 92 non-synonymous variants in the critical interval. Only two of these variants, located in the lymphotoxin A (LTA) and collagen alpha-2(XI) chain gene (COL11A2), respectively, were perfectly associated with the trait. Previously described COL11A2 variants in humans or mice lead to skeletal dysplasias and/or deafness. The dog variant associated with disproportionate dwarfism, COL11A2:c.143G>C or p.R48P, probably has only a minor effect on collagen XI function, which might explain the comparatively mild phenotype seen in our study. The identification of this candidate causative mutation thus widens the known phenotypic spectrum of COL11A2 mutations. We speculate that non-pathogenic COL11A2 variants might even contribute to the heritable variation in height.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Mapping / veterinary
  • Collagen Type XI / genetics*
  • Dog Diseases / genetics*
  • Dog Diseases / pathology*
  • Dogs
  • Dwarfism / genetics
  • Dwarfism / pathology
  • Dwarfism / veterinary*
  • Genes, Recessive / genetics
  • Genome-Wide Association Study / veterinary
  • Genotype
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha / genetics
  • Mutation, Missense / genetics
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / veterinary


  • Collagen Type XI
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha

Grants and funding

This work was funded in part by grants from the Albert-Heim Foundation, the European Commission (LUPA, GA-201370), and the Academy of Finland. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.