Genetic Diversity Testing for Shikoku


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 measure 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 will be useful to dog breeders who wish to use DNA-based testing as a supplement to in-depth pedigrees. Using in-depth pedigrees and DNA based diversity data, along with DNA testing results for desired phenotypes and health traits can aid in informing breeding decisions.

DNA-based testing of the Shikoku breed is now in the preliminary results phase with the objective of building a snapshot of individual- and breed-wide genetic heterogeneity and diversity. The first 27 dogs were from the USA (n=25) and The Netherlands (n=2). This data base will be progressively expanded as more dogs are added with the goal of characterizing all the known alleles for the breed at 33 STR loci across the genome as well as all existing DLA class I and II haplotypes identified by seven STRs. We are accepting Shikoku from all parts of the world with a goal of 100 individuals tested to complete the initial phase.


$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 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.


Report issued October 30, 2019. Daily updated statistics are here.

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