Genetics and the Shape of Dogs

Chihuahua-toy poodle mix and Scottish deerhound

These playful companions—a chihuahua–toy poodle mix and a Scottish deerhound—are both representatives of the species Canis familiaris. How a single species can exhibit such immense variation in size and other attributes has become a compelling question for mammalian geneticists. Recent sequencing of the dog genome has provided new insights into what a dog breed really is and has contributed to new techniques for mapping genes controlling body shape and size. Photograph courtesy of Tyrone Spady and Elaine A. Ostrander.

Check out Elaine A Ostrander’s wonderful article, “Genetics and the Shape of Dogs: Studying the new sequence of the canine genome shows how tiny genetic changes can create enormous variation within a single species”

Just click here to read this important work.

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