The canine genome sequence that was published in 2005 was based on the DNA of one dog, a Boxer named Tasha. Since then, other breeds have been sequenced, particularly when investigators have hunted for changes in the DNA sequence that lead to altered appearance of the dog or development of a disease. For example, the laboratory of Cathryn Mellersh did extensive sequencing of PBGV DNA samples in their quest to find the mutation that leads to primary open angle glaucoma. But nowhere is there a comprehensive database of canine genomic information. Until now.

The AKC DNA Program’s Genetic Diversity Project is a new initiative to develop the world’s premier database of ca-nine genomic information. This project aims to generate whole genome sequences of 4000 dogs, representing all AKC-recognized breeds. The data will be freely shared.

This is NOT the genetic identity and parentage verification program. This is a separate program aimed at creating a database that includes the genomic sequences of all AKC breeds.

Having this database will expedite research into breed health. Investigators will have access to a consensus sequence for a breed. They will be able to focus on analyzing DNA samples from those breed members with a specific disorder.

Helen Ingher is coordinating the submission of PBGV samples to the project.

Helen has obtained the necessary AKC cheek swab kits and is contacting owners to see if they are willing to participate. She is selecting PBGVs that are unrelated for several generations so that our sequences reflect the full spectrum of genetic diversity in our breed. If Helen contacts you, please say “Yes, I’d like to participate!” She will mail a kit to you, you will swab the chosen PBGV, and mail the kit to the AKC. Thank you!