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Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Veterinary Medicine
Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences

PI: James R. Mickelson

Animal Genetics and Genomics

Simple and complex heritable diseases are relatively common in companion animal species due to selected breeding schemes that use common founders and family lines to propagate highly desirable traits. These researchers use genetic association analyses to begin to identify the genetic loci responsible for a number of heritable disorders in dogs (epilepsy, polyneuropathy, exercise-induced collapse) and horses (exertional rhabdomyolysis, polysaccharide storage myopathy). Genotypes for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers located at evenly spaced intervals across the genome are obtained and analyzed for statistically significant linkage or association to the trait in large often-complex pedigrees. Identification of DNA markers that co-segregate with the trait in essence maps the gene for the trait to that region of a specific chromosome represented by that marker where the responsible gene can ultimately be identified. The researchers use MSI facilities and software in performing the association analysis computations to enable us to more efficiently identify the genome segments containing the disease genes. They are also utilizing next-generation DNA sequencing on the Illumina Genome Analyzer to define the transcriptome (sequences and structures of the mRNA of all expressed genes) of equine skeletal muscle, to search for SNPs in coding regions, and to potentially use this technology to identify mutations associated with inherited muscle disorders. For this, they use MSI resources and user support in formatting the very large data files that contain the sequence data, performing sequence trimming, optimal alignments to the equine genome assembly, and identifying SNPs, to enable them to more efficiently identify the genome segments containing the disease genes.

Group Member

Shea M. Anderson, Staff