Optic nerve hypoplasia in miniature poodle dogs: A preliminary genetic and candidate gene association study

Vet Ophthalmol. 2020 Jan;23(1):67-76. doi: 10.1111/vop.12691. Epub 2019 Jul 25.


Objective: To conduct a genetic and candidate gene association study with samples from phenotype-ascertained dogs to identify putative disease-associated gene/mutation for optic nerve hypoplasia (ONH) in the miniature poodle.

Animals studied: A total of 43 miniature poodles from the United States and Europe, nine affected bilaterally with ONH, were included in the study. Pedigree information was recorded.

Procedures: A pedigree including all animals studied was assembled. Twenty-one genes typically expressed in ganglion cells or that are associated with ocular malformations and have a critical function in eye and neural retina development were selected. Exons and exon-intron boundaries of eight genes were sequenced in four ONH cases and four controls. Furthermore, cases and controls were genotyped with the Illumina CanineHD BeadChip to obtain genotypes for 13 additional candidate genes for haplotype association.

Results: The assembled pedigree connected all ONH-affected dogs to a possible common founder. Identified variants and haplotypes of the tested candidate genes did not segregate with the phenotype using Identity by Descent approach assuming autosomal recessive inheritance with variable but yet unknown penetrance.

Conclusions: Pedigree analysis did not reveal the inheritance pattern. There is no evidence of association of the evaluated candidate genes with ONH; therefore, the screened candidate genes can provisionally be ruled out as causally associated with the disease.

Keywords: candidate genes; dog; micropapilla; miniature poodle; optic nerve hypoplasia.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dog Diseases / genetics*
  • Dogs
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Haplotypes
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • Optic Nerve Hypoplasia / genetics
  • Optic Nerve Hypoplasia / veterinary*
  • Otx Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Otx Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Pedigree
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors / genetics
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Tubulin / genetics
  • Tubulin / metabolism


  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Otx Transcription Factors
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors
  • Tubulin