Genetic Diversity Testing for Akita


The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL), in collaboration with Dr. Niels C. Pedersen and staff, has developed a panel of short tandem repeat (STR) markers that will determine genetic diversity across the genome and in the Dog Leukocyte Antigen (DLA) class I and II regions. This test panel will be useful to breeders who wish to track and increase genetic diversity of their breed as a long term goal.

Genetic diversity testing of Akita is well established and we feel that almost all of the existing alleles at the 33 STR loci and DLA class I and II regions have been identified. Any new alleles or haplotypes are likely to occur at very low frequency. We will continue to add new alleles and haplotypes when they are found and to adjust frequencies if necessary. We have confirmed that Akita exist as two varieties, Japanese (AKJ) and American (AKA). Blends involving crossing between varieties also have been identified and genetically characterized as intermediate. As of September 2018, we have tested 524 dogs from all three of these groups (117 AKA, 341 AKJ and 62 Blends), and the results of our preliminary genetic diversity testing have been updated.


$80 one test per animal
$70 when combined with a diagnostic test


Turnaround Time

Allow 5-10 business days for results.

Results reported as:

Short tandem repeat (STR) loci: A total of 33 STR loci from across the genome were used to gauge genetic diversity within an individual and across the breed. The alleles inherited from each parent are displayed graphically to highlight heterozygosity, and breed-wide allele frequency is provided.

DLA haplotypes: STR loci linked to the DLA class I and II genes were used to identify genetic differences in regions regulating immune responses and self/non-self recognition. Problems with self/non-self recognition, along with non-genetic factors in the environment, are responsible for autoimmune disease.

Internal Relatedness: The IR value is a measure of genetic diversity within an individual that takes into consideration both heterozygosity of alleles at each STR loci and their relative frequency in the population. Therefore, IR values heterozygosity over homozygosity and uncommon alleles over common alleles. IR values are unique to each dog and cannot be compared between dogs. Two dogs may have identical IR values but with very different genetic makeups.

See our PDF