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.
Baseline genetic diversity testing of Havanese has been completed - please see Enrolling a Breed. We initially tested 86 dogs, but this has now been increased to 242 dogs. Testing of additional dogs has led to the identification of new genomic alleles and DLA haplotypes that were present at low frequency in the population. Therefore, we feel that allele and allele frequencies, and DLA class I and II haplotypes and haplotype frequencies will not change significantly with further baseline testing. Nevertheless, existing genetic diversity will continue to be adjusted if necessary as yet more Havanese are tested.
Other Havanese-specific test packages available from the VGL:
$80 one test per animal
$70 when combined with a diagnostic test
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.