New Functions in the Database: Reviewing Genetic Differences on the Basis of Countries and Tags

The MyDogDNA database gets constantly updated with new features and functionalities. As the latest functionality, we have added the possibility to review the plots on genetic differences on the basis of different dog related information. Pictures below present the different views available and gives instructions on what kind of new information can be obtained.

In the plot describing genetic differences, one breed can be viewed as one group. Each dot in the plot represents one tested individual. Location of your dog on the graph is indicated with a dot. In this view, as well as other plot views, it is possible to see simultaneously all dogs of the same breed that are either under your ownership or shared to you.

When the "Colour clusters to see potential lineages" option is selected, the database will automatically colour genetically more similar dogs with same colours to distinguish potential lineages from each other. Colouring is based on the calculations in the database: genetically less distant individuals are of the same colour in the plot. The picture above shows that Golden Retrievers are divided in two genetically distinct main groups.

NEW FEATURE: By choosing "Colour by country" -functionality, it is possible to see which countries the individuals shown on the graph are from. Colouring is based on the dog owner's home country and, therefore, the current country of residence of the dog (the dog will most likely leave its inheritance in the gene pool of this country). This gives a new and unique opportunity to explore genetic differences between country-specific sub-populations. In the image above, it can clearly been observed how, for example, Russian Golden Retrievers stand out as a separate sub-population. If the cursor is moved over the name of a country, dogs from this country are highlighted as other individuals fade to background.

Another new feature in the plot is the option to have a look at genetic differences between dogs according to tags the dog owners have chosen for their dogs. "Colour by tags" -functionality allows you to explore, for example, whether show dogs and hunting dogs (as defined by the owners) differ from each other genetically. Curiously, all dogs tagged as show dogs on the Golden Retriever plot are located to the right. This may visualize the backgrounds of the two genetically different lineages. There are still a large number of dogs without any defined tags in the database. It would be interesting to have all dogs tagged to maximize the benefits and information brought by this graph!

The last picture reveals genetic differences within an FCI breed group, the retriever breed group here as an example. It is easy to see which retriever breeds are genetically more similar to each other and which are more distinct. Within the retriever group, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers and Curly Coated Retrievers seem to be genetically closest. As the breed-specific samples increase, the image gets more accurate. With this feature, it is also possible to see all owned retrievers at the same time. As the picture shows, the owner of the demo dog owns also a Labrador Retriever, indicated with a smaller dot among its breed. Special breed groups can also be created in the database if and when our customers have good arguments to do so (e.g. in order to monitor a cross-breeding project or to compare a breed with the breeds that it is assumed to descend from). 

Such features have now been brought in the MyDogDNA database, to facilitate viewing genetic differences within breeds and breed groups, as well as to bring loads of new and interesting infomation available to all users!