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News Article

Gene linked to blindness in Border Collies


The identification of genetic regions associated with severe goniodysgenesis and glaucoma has led to the development of a test for the condition

Researchers have determined the genetic basis of severe goniodysgenesis in Border Collies The disease is a developmental abnormality of the anterior chamber of the eye that can lead to glaucoma and blindness. Sudden blindness was first seen in Border Collies in Australia in the late 1990s, and has subsequently been found in this breed in Europe and the USA.

The findings of a genetic study, published, in G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics have led to the development of a new test for the disease, to help breeders avoid producing affected pups.

Researchers from The Roslin Institute collected DNA from dog saliva samples and compared those that had healthy eyes to those with symptoms of severe goniodysgenesis.

They identified a mutation in the gene called OLFML3, which is involved in the early stages of development of the eyeball. All of the dogs that went blind had two copies of the mutated gene.

Several companies have now developed genetic tests that spot the mutation in a dog’s DNA to help breeders avoid producing puppies at risk of going blind.

The study was funded by the Dogs Trust Canine Welfare Grant programme and the Pastoral Breeds Health Foundation.

Read article: Arginine to Glutamine Variant in Olfactomedin Like 3 (OLFML3) Is a Candidate for Severe Goniodysgenesis and Glaucoma in the Border Collie Dog Breed by Carys A. Pugh, Lindsay L. Farrell, Ailsa J. Carlisle, Stephen J. Bush, Adam Ewing, Violeta Trejo-Reveles, Oswald Matika, Arne de Kloet, Caitlin Walsh, Stephen C. Bishop, James G. D. Prendergast, Joe Rainger, Jeffrey J. Schoenebeck and Kim M. Summers published in G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics (2019) vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 943-954, doi: 10.1534/g3.118.200944

Article details

  • Date
  • 27 March 2019
  • Source
  • The Roslin Institute
  • Subject(s)
  • Dogs, Cats, and other Companion Animals