The Joint Breed Liaison Committee

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Give a Dog a Genome (GDG) Project

Update: May 2017 - GDG Sequencing Complete

This is the text of the latest progress update email received from the Give a Dog a Genome Team:

As you already know, we selected a Bearded Collie with Addison's Disease to be whole genome sequenced as part of Give a Dog a Genome (GDG). The sequencing has now been completed by the external laboratory and the data has been made available for us to download.

What happens next?

The amount of data generated for each sample is enormous, around 80-90 Gb. To put that into perspective, data from only 10 dogs will fill up the average modern personal computer, and the processing of the data will use the full capacity of the computer for months. As a result it takes time (about 1 week) and a great deal of computing power to download and process the data so that it is ready for analysis. Once we have completed this stage the Bearded Collie Addison's Disease data will be ready for further analysis.

The data will be added to the genome bank, and will begin contributing to studies in other breeds immediately. In addition, the data will be made available to other scientists for use in their own studies, and your breed has therefore made a vital contribution to genetic research affecting the welfare of dogs worldwide.

As Dr Brian Catchpole from the Royal Veterinary College is already working on Bearded Collie with Addison's Disease, we feel that the best use of the data is to share it with Dr Catchpole to add to their existing data. Analysis of the data to attempt to identify any variants that contribute to Addison's Disease in Bearded Collie will therefore not be conducted by the GDG team at the AHT. However, we do expect that Dr Catchpole will inform is of any relevant findings, which we would then pass on to you.

You will continue to receive any general GDG updates, but apart from that we will contact you only if there is something specific to the Bearded Collie to report. If you don't hear from us, it means that Dr Catchpole's team are still in the analysis stage and have not found anything of significance.

I would once again like to thank you and the breed community for participating in Give a Dog a Genome.

If you have any questions or concerns please email me on

Yours faithfully,

Louise and the rest of the Give a Dog a Genome Team

Louise Burmeister
Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Animal Health Trust

GDG certificate.

Update: 15 February 2016

Message from Yvonne Fox
: 'I am delighted to confirm that we have been accepted onto the 'Give a dog a genome' project. We should get our £1,000 cheque off to the AHT by the end of the week. We have the funding through the breed Clubs and the JBLC funds.'

BCC Club Chairman Paula Brooks says: 'This is great news. I know we all support this project and I am glad we managed to get things organised so quickly. Many thanks to Yvonne Fox and Liz Ayrton.'

Posted: 14 February 2016

An exciting project to map the genome of 50 breeds of dog, the Give a Dog a Genome (GDG) project, has been launched by the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust. The project will radically increase our understanding of the canine genome and enhance our understanding of which changes in DNA sequence affect dog health and which are benign or neutral. It will have profound effects on our ability to identify mutations which cause inherited diseases, and the rate at which new DNA tests can be developed as tools for breeders.

The cost of sequencing each genome is £2,000. The AHT is asking owners, breeders and breed clubs for each breed taking part in the project to contribute £1,000 which will be matched by equivalent funding from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust. Participation in the project is on a first-come, first-served basis, and as we are keen for Beardies to be one of the 50 breeds included in the project to help us in future work into genetic diseases, Elizabeth Ayrton has already registered an interest in the project on behalf of the breed - see the reply below from Cathryn Mellersh.

However, we will need to act quickly to secure a place. In the two weeks after the project was announced, ten breeds secured their place in the project by committing funding and almost 30 breeds registered an interest in participating. Full details of the project are available on the GDG project website.

There is also an exciting project by Prof Brian Catchpole to develop an effective serology test for autoantibodies for Addison's disease. As well as being used for diagnostic purposes, the test should be able to pick up autoantibodies in dogs before they have developed the disease so could be a screening tool for breeders to use before breeding from their dogs. It would be wonderful to support this project too, but again we need to raise funds.

If anyone has any suggestions - or spare cash - please get in touch.

From: Give Dog Genome []
Sent: 09 February 2016 10:36
To: 'Elizabeth Ayrton'
Subject: RE: Bearded Collie Club

Dear Elizabeth,

Thank you for your email and for your interest in Give a Dog a Genome (GDG).

I can confirm that the Bearded Collie breed community has registered an interest in participating in the project and has given a provisional place on the GDG waiting list. Please contact me again, no later than 9th March, to confirm the breed's interest.

Confirmation of interest will secure your breed's place as one of the 50 breeds whose genome will be sequenced, subject to receipt of £1,000 by a specified date, which will be no sooner than three months from 9th March.

For additional information about GDG please visit our website, including some useful FAQs:

With best wishes

Cathryn and the rest of the Give a Dog a Genome Team

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