Transposable element-mediated structural variation analysis in dog breeds using whole-genome sequencing

Mamm Genome. 2019 Oct;30(9-10):289-300. doi: 10.1007/s00335-019-09812-5. Epub 2019 Aug 15.


Naturally occurring diseases in dogs provide an important animal model for studying human disease including cancer, heart disease, and autoimmune disorders. Transposable elements (TEs) make up ~ 31% of the dog (Canis lupus familiaris) genome and are one of main drivers to cause genomic variations and alter gene expression patterns of the host genes, which could result in genetic diseases. To detect structural variations (SVs), we conducted whole-genome sequencing of three different breeds, including Maltese, Poodle, and Yorkshire Terrier. Genomic SVs were detected and visualized using BreakDancer program. We identified a total of 2328 deletion SV events in the three breeds compared with the dog reference genome of Boxer. The majority of the genetic variants were found to be TE insertion polymorphism (1229) and the others were TE-mediated deletion (489), non-TE-mediated deletion (542), simple repeat-mediated deletion (32), and other indel (36). Among the TE insertion polymorphism, 286 elements were full-length LINE-1s (L1s). In addition, the 49 SV candidates located in the genic regions were experimentally verified and their polymorphic rates within each breed were examined using PCR assay. Polymorphism analysis of the genomic variants revealed that some of the variants exist polymorphic in the three dog breeds, suggesting that their SV events recently occurred in the dog genome. The findings suggest that TEs have contributed to the genomic variations among the three dog breeds of Maltese, Poodle, and Yorkshire Terrier. In addition, the polymorphic events between the dog breeds indicate that TEs were recently retrotransposed in the dog genome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breeding
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Dogs / classification
  • Dogs / genetics*
  • Dogs / physiology
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genome*
  • INDEL Mutation


  • DNA Transposable Elements