Whole Genome Analysis of a Single Scottish Deerhound Dog Family Provides Independent Corroboration That a SGK3 Coding Variant Leads to Hairlessness

G3 (Bethesda). 2020 Jan 7;10(1):293-297. doi: 10.1534/g3.119.400885.


The breeds of domestic dog, Canis lupus familiaris, display a range of coat types with variation in color, texture, length, curl, and growth pattern. One trait of interest is that of partial or full hairlessness, which is found in a small number of breeds. While the standard for some breeds, such as the Xoloitzcuintli, requires sparse hair on their extremities, others are entirely bald, including the American Hairless Terrier. We identified a small, rare family of Scottish Deerhounds in which coated parents produced a mixed litter of coated and hairless offspring. To identify the underlying variant, we performed whole genome sequencing of the dam and five offspring, comparing single nucleotide polymorphisms and small insertions/deletions against an established catalog of 91 million canine variants. Of 325 homozygous alternative alleles found in both hairless dogs, 56 displayed the expected pattern of segregation and only a single, high impact variant within a coding region was observed: a single base pair insertion in exon two of SGK3 leading to a potential frameshift, thus verifying recently published findings. In addition, we observed that gene expression levels between coated and hairless dogs are similar, suggesting a mechanism other than non-sense mediated decay is responsible for the phenotype.

Keywords: Canis lupus familiaris; dog; fur; genetics; hair.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Fur / growth & development*
  • Animals
  • Dogs / genetics*
  • Hypotrichosis / genetics
  • Hypotrichosis / veterinary*
  • Mutation*
  • Pedigree
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics*
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Whole Genome Sequencing


  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases