Home DNA Testing for Dogs Leads to Discovery of Genetics for Blue Eyes in Huskies

Many of us have ordered DNA testing kits for ourselves to learn about our ancestry.  But the boom in at-home testing is also spreading to our dogs.

An analysis of the home DNA tests of over 6,000 dogs (combined with photos and surveys from their owners) has led to the identification of a gene duplication on canine chromosome 18 that causes blue eyes in Siberian Huskies.

Duplication of a gene known as ALX4 (which plays a role in eye development) causes two blue eyes or one blue/one brown eye in both Huskies and non-merle Australian Shepherds.

A report on the study on the Science Daily website notes that the growing field of consumer genomics will lead to increased knowledge about our dogs, as well as ourselves.

You can read the full text of the research article HERE.