Researchers have decoded the dog genome to a high degree of accuracy, allowing deep insights into the evolutionary history not only of Canis familiaris but also of its devoted companion species, Homo sapiens.From Nature:
The dog whose genome has been sequenced is Tasha, a female boxer whose owners wish to remain anonymous, said Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, a biologist at the Broad Institute in Cambridge who led a large group of colleagues in the DNA sequencing effort. Their findings are being reported in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.
Here we report a high-quality draft genome sequence of the domestic dog (Canis familiaris), together with a dense map of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across breeds. The dog is of particular interest because it provides important evolutionary information and because existing breeds show great phenotypic diversity for morphological, physiological and behavioural traits. We use sequence comparison with the primate and rodent lineages to shed light on the structure and evolution of genomes and genes. Notably, the majority of the most highly conserved non-coding sequences in mammalian genomes are clustered near a small subset of genes with important roles in development. Analysis of SNPs reveals long-range haplotypes across the entire dog genome, and defines the nature of genetic diversity within and across breeds. The current SNP map now makes it possible for genome-wide association studies to identify genes responsible for diseases and traits, with important consequences for human and companion animal health.Technorati Tags: Dogs, Genetics