Genetic Diversity Testing for Greater Swiss Mountain Dog


The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL), in collaboration with Dr. Niels C. Pedersen and staff, has developed a panel of short tandem repeat (STR) markers to determine genetic heterogeneity and diversity across the genome and in the Dog Leukocyte Antigen (DLA) class I and II regions for specified dog populations. This test panel is useful to dog breeders who wish to use DNA-based testing to track and increase genetic diversity as a supplement to in-depth pedigrees. DNA based information on genetic heterogeneity and diversity, along with DNA testing results for desired phenotypes and health traits, can aid in informing breeding decisions.

Genetic diversity testing of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is now in the preliminary results phase. During this phase, we will continue to test more registered dogs to build the genetic database necessary to provide an accurate assessment of genetic diversity. This report is based on 34 registered Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs from the USA (n=22), Czech Republic (n=4), Canada (n=2), Russia (n=2), Belgium (n=1), Netherlands (n=1), France (n=1), and Switzerland (n=1). Although results reported herein are preliminary, this selection of individuals should provide a reasonable picture of genetic diversity in the breed. Allele and DLA haplotype frequencies will be updated as more dogs are tested. It is anticipated that new alleles at the 33 STR loci and additional DLA class I and II haplotypes will be identified in the future for the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, but these will tend to be of lower incidence than those detected in this initial population.


$50 one test per animal
This is the cost for the dogs that will be tested in the research phase. Once the research phase is complete, the test will be offered at the regular rate of $80.


Results reported as:

Short tandem repeat (STR) loci: A total of 33 STR loci from carefully selected regions of the genome were used to assess genetic heterogeneity and existing genetic diversity within an individual as well as across the breed. The alleles inherited from each parent are displayed graphically to highlight heterozygosity and genetic diversity in individuals and breed wide.

DLA haplotypes: Seven STR loci linked to the DLA class I and II genes were used to identify genetic differences in a region that regulates 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, allergies, and susceptibility to infectious agents.

Internal Relatedness: The IR value is a measure of the genetic relatedness of an individual's parents. The value 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; two individuals from different sources may have identical IR values, but a quite different genetic makeup.

Report issued March 2022. Daily updated statistics are here.

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