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Mol Cell Probes. 2012 Dec;26(6):238-42. doi: 10.1016/j.mcp.2012.03.009. Epub 2012 Apr 7.

Coat color DNA testing in dogs: theory meets practice.

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Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan, 51 Campus Dr., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5A8, Canada.


DNA tests to detect particular dog coat color alleles are in use in several DNA diagnostic laboratories. The original two genes studied were MC1R and TYRP1 and therefore these tests have been used most widely, and for the longest period of time. The original research was conducted to determine the mutation associated with a particular phenotype in one to a few dog breeds, and was subsequently expanded to include more dog breeds. The application of this testing now includes an even wider range of dog breeds, some of which would not have been expected to have some of the alleles detected. This retrospective study demonstrates that a DNA test may be designed for a particular application, but is used by clients for additional applications that were not originally anticipated. A robust protocol with DNA obtained by cheek brushes and interchanges among dog owners via the internet, have likely lead to this expanded use by clients.

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