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The Genetic Origin of Short Tail in Endangered Korean Dog, DongGyeongi

Scientific Reports | 30 Aug 2017
The tail of many animal species is responsible for various physiological functions. The functional importance of tail may have brought tail-loss to attention in many evolutionary and developmental studies. To provide a better explanation for the loss of tail, the current study aims to identify the evolutionary history and putative causal variants for the short tail in DongGyeongi (DG), an endangered dog breed, which is also the only dog in Korea that possesses a short tail. Whole genome sequencing was conducted on 22 samples of DG, followed by an investigation of population stratification with 10 other dog breeds. The genotypes, selective sweep and demography of DG were also investigated. As a result, we discovered the unique genetic structure of DG and suggested two possible ways in which the short tail phenotype developed. Moreover, this study suggested that selective sweep genes, ANKRD11 and ACVR2B may contribute to the reduction in tail length, and non-synonymous variant in the coding sequence of T gene and the CpG island variant of SFRP2 gene are the candidate causal variants for the tail-loss.

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