This investigation presents results from a genetic characterization of 5 Danish dog breeds genotyped on the CanineHD BeadChip microarray with 170,000 SNP. The breeds investigated were 1) Danish Spitz (DS; n = 8), 2) Danish-Swedish Farm Dog (DSF; n = 18), 3) Broholmer (BR; n = 22), 4) Old Danish Pointing Dog (ODP; n = 24), and 5) Greenland Dog (GD; n = 23). The aims of the investigation were to characterize the genetic profile of the abovementioned dog breeds by quantifying the genetic differentiation among them and the degree of genetic homogeneity within breeds. The genetic profile was determined by means of principal component analysis (PCA) and through a Bayesian clustering method. Both the PCA and the Bayesian clustering method revealed a clear genetic separation of the 5 breeds. The level of genetic variation within the breeds varied. The expected heterozygosity (H) as well as the degree of polymorphism (P%) ranked the dog breeds in the order DS > DSF > BR > ODP > GD. Interestingly, the breed with a tenfold higher census population size compared to the other breeds, the Greenland Dog, had the lowest within-breed genetic variation, emphasizing that census size is a poor predictor of genetic variation. The observed differences in variation among and within dog breeds may be related to factors such as genetic drift, founder effects, genetic admixture, and population bottlenecks. We further examined whether the observed genetic patterns in the 5 dog breeds can be used to design breeding strategies for the preservation of the genetic pool of these dog breeds.
Journal of Animal Science, 2013, Vol 91, Issue 11, p. 5122-5127