Canine Phenome Project Wheaten Siblings DNA Study
Animal Molecular Genetics Laboratory
University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine

Participants are needed for the Wheaten Siblings DNA Study. This study is the first research resulting from SCWTCA's involvement in the Canine Phenome Project. The ultimate goal is to locate the genes involved in PLE and PLN. The study requires at least 16 sets of full siblings (20 sets would be better since a dog who appears healthy may be affected upon necropsy), one affected with PLE, PLN, or both, and one that is not affected and at least 11.5 years old. The affected dog's age does not matter. If the affected dog has died and Dr. Littman has DNA on that dog, that will be made available to Dr. Johnson. (Dr. Littman may have DNA from a dog if tissue or blood samples were sent to her for diagnosis or research.)

How To Participate

To participate, two dogs which are full siblings must be identified. One sibling, the affected dog, has been diagnosed with PLE, PLN, or both by Drs Littman or Vaden, or another veterinarian who is an American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Diplomate. (See website link below.) If the latter, the name of the veterinarian is required. The other sibling is unaffected with PLE or PLN, based on current and previous (if available) blood chemistry and urinalysis results. This dog must be at least 11.5 years of age.

Owners will need to provide a blood sample for DNA extraction, a pedigree for the siblings, and a submission form. In addition to this, for the unaffected dog, owners will be asked to send the latest results from blood and urine tests, including UPC, BUN, creatinine, albumin, total protein.

There is no cost to owners other than the cost of drawing the blood sample and shipping it to the University of Missouri Animal Molecular Genetics Laboratory.

All genetic and contact information collected for each dog will remain confidential. Specifically, participation in the study, the dog's pedigree, health information, and any data produced from the dog's DNA sample will not be disclosed.

If you would like to participate in this study or have any questions, contact Liz Hansen at (573) 884-3712, , or via regular mail at 321 Connaway Hall, Animal Molecular Genetic Laboratory, University of Missouri, Columbia MO 65211.

SCWTCA members are available to answer general questions if you wish to contact them:

Carol Carlson (PA)
Roni Andrews (OR)
Anna Marzolino (CA)
DNA Analysis Test Information

For the Wheaten Siblings Study, a DNA sequence analysis test will be run using new technology which looks for single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). SNPs are variations that occur when a nucleotide, a molecular subunit of DNA, is altered. This test is designed to locate the genetic variation between the unaffected and affected siblings. This is a first step in identifying the location of the genes involved in PLE and PLN. Additional fine mapping of the genes will be needed.

Dr. Gary Johnson at the Animal Molecular Genetic Laboratory at the University Of Missouri College Of Veterinary Medicine is leading the research on this study. His team has successfully used SNP mapping to begin to identify the gene(s) responsible for a neurological disorder in Tibetan Terriers. The cost for the chip and processing is approximately $30,000. With a great deal of luck, this would identify a candidate gene. It would cost $10-12,000 for each additional mapping.


The Wheaten Sibling Study is a joint effort of the SCWTCA, Betty Chapman, President; the SCWTCA Health Endowment, Carol Carlson, Chair; and the SCWT Genetic Research Fund, Jackie Gottlieb, Chair. The three groups are working cooperatively through the Canine Phenome Project.

For More Information...

Revised 10/2007

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