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Canine Morphology: Hunting for Genes and Tracking Mutations

Figure 4

Coat variation in the dog.

Coat texture and length are features that distinguish between breeds and between varieties of the same breed [16]. Clockwise from the left are shown the Vizsla with a short, straight coat. These dogs and others like them have wild-type alleles for the three critical genes controlling coat texture, length, and curl, which are RSPO-2, FGF5, and KRT71, respectively. The giant Schnauzer displays the eyebrows and moustache characteristic of the trait called “furnishings” and carries the variant form of RSPO-2. Dogs with furnishings usually exhibit wiry coats as well. The Cocker spaniel has long straight hair, demonstrating the variant form of FGF5, but wild-type alleles at other loci. The Bichon frise has variant alleles at all three critical loci, RSPO-2, FGF5, and KRT71, and displays a coat that is long, curly, and with furnishings. (Image: Giant schnauzer and Bichon frise pictures provided by Mary Bloom, American Kennel Club.)

Figure 4