give a dog a genome
Welcome to Give a Dog a Genome, an initiative launched by the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the AHT to create the UK’s largest canine genome bank to help generations of dogs.
This genome bank will improve dog health by radically increasing our understanding of the canine genome by sequencing the entire genome (all 2.4 billion letters of DNA) of a large number of different breeds.
Launched in January 2016 with the aim of sequencing DNA from 50 different breeds of dog, the response from so many breeds interested in GDG was overwhelming. In May, with further funding granted from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, we were delighted to extend the initiative to an additional 25 breeds.
Whilst this has had an impact on our originally planned timeline for the project, a lot of activity has been going on behind the scenes!
Click here to see the 75 breeds that will have a dog's genome sequenced and included in the canine genome bank.
Click here to read the latest GDG news update:
Breed health summary identifies major health concerns that will shape AHT canine genetics research
What is Give a Dog a Genome?
Every genome we sequence is a permanent resource which will contribute towards our research for many years to come, to the benefit of all breeds – not just those we can sequence now.
By undertaking this colossal task - DNA is a string of A, C, G & Ts…if each was 1mm long the whole genome of each dog we sequence would stretch from Lands End to John O’Groats and back again! - we will enhance our understanding of which changes in DNA sequence have an effect on dog health and which changes are benign or neutral.
This information will have profound effects on our ability to identify mutations which cause inherited diseases in purebred dogs, and the rate at which we can develop new DNA tests as tools for breeders. Give a Dog a Genome will revolutionise canine genetics research and is therefore a hugely important project to the future of dog health.
Breed Health Summary
Once the 75 breeds participating in GDG were confirmed, we asked each breed to complete a small health survey indicating three health disorders that are currently of concern among their breed community.
As of September 2016, this information has been returned by 66/75 of the breeds involved in GDG, and 80 disorders in total have been listed so far. We are in the process of collating this information to select which category of dogs from each breed we will sequence i.e. a dog with a particular disorder or a healthy control dog. This is a time-consuming process as it involves a review of the current literature for all 80 health conditions listed and communication with other scientists working on some of the conditions. Once we have determined which dogs we would like to sequence we will get in touch with breed representatives to arrange obtaining DNA samples.
We anticipate that this process will take a number of months to complete for all 75 breeds, and are therefore proceeding in smaller batches to keep up the momentum.
We will continue to collate information from all the participating breeds and to decide if it will be more valuable to sequence a dog that is either affected with an inherited disorder of concern to the breed or an older, healthy dog, on a breed by breed basis. The final choice of dogs whose genomes are sequenced will be made by the Animal Health Trust and the identity of all dogs will be kept confidential.
As we continue the exciting process of selecting dogs for sequencing, any additional breeds wishing to participate in Give a Dog a Genome will be entered into the second phase of the project, GDG2, that is expected to begin during 2018 (subject to funding).
Breeds that are entered into GDG2 will not be asked to make their £1,000 donation until 2018.
BREEDS BACKING GIVE A DOG A GENOME
WHAT IS WHOLE GENOME SEQUENCING?
HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT GIVE A DOG A GENOME
GIVE A DOG A GENOME - FAQs
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