Latest News

VGL's Ann T. Bowling Fellowship Supports Graduate Students Studying Heritable Disorders in Animals

The Ann T. Bowling Fellowship was established by the UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) in memory of Dr. Ann Bowling, who was a pioneer in veterinary genetics. In line with the VGL’s mission to promote and enhance research and education in animal genetics, this fellowship provides one year of support to full-time graduate students in UC Davis Ph.D. programs whose research is directed at identifying and understanding the genetic basis of heritable disorders that afflict animal species.

Genetic analysis identifies novel mutation in Standardbred horse

  The observations provide an origination example of the main mechanism of biological variation, mutations in the DNA


The field of genetics has enabled us to predict susceptibility to heritable diseases and map the genome of many species. Now, modern genetics and the birth of a unique foal in New Zealand has provided a successful example of tracking a mutation at its origin.

VGL Researchers Investigate Genetic Diversity of Standardbred Horses

The study done by researchers at the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) provide a baseline for assessing and managing genetic diversity in the American Standardbred horse. The American Standardbred was selectively bred for harness racing and, today, there are two gaits that these horses race at: the trot and the pace. The trot is a two-beat diagonal gait whereas the pace is a two-beat lateral gate.

VGL Clients Help Advance Our Understanding of MYHM in Quarter Horses!

A recent study sheds new light on the prevalence and penetrance of the missense mutation in the type 2X myosin heavy chain (MYH1) gene that is associated with myosin-heavy chain myopathy (MYHM) in Quarter Horses. The UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory offers a genetic test for MYHM and reports the presence of this mutation as My and the absence of this mutation as N.

New Agouti Test Available for Dogs!

The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory is excited to announce a new Agouti test that better explains the different coat color patterns seen in dogs.

New Name for Immune-Mediated Myositis (IMM) Test

To more accurately reflect the genetic mechanism that underpins both immune-mediated myositis (IMM) and non-exertional rhabdomyolysis, the name of the VGL’s DNA test has been updated from Immune-mediated Myositis (IMM/MYH1) to myosin-heavy chain myopathy (MYHM).

VGL-led Team Identifies Genetic Variant Associated with Distichiasis in Friesians

An interdisciplinary team led by VGL Director Dr. Rebecca Bellone identified a genetic variant associated with distichiasis in Friesian horses. This is the first identification of a genetic variant linked to equine distichiasis, an ocular disease characterized by eyelashes that grow from abnormal positions along the edge of the eyelid and often lead to corneal irritation and damage.

Veterinary Genetics Laboratory Receives Highest Level of Accreditation

The UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory recently achieved the ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation by the American National Standards Institute National Accreditation Board, the highest level of accreditation available to testing laboratories. According to their website, ANAB is the largest multi-disciplinary accreditation body in the western hemisphere, with more than 2,500 organizations accredited in approximately 80 countries.