Test for dilution (D locus) as a marker gene test for certain breeds now in the MyDogDNA panel

We are introducing one more genetic test for coat colors in the MyDogDNA test panel. As a result of research and development work, we have now included a beta phase marker test for dilution for the following breeds:

American Hairless Terrier, Italian Greyhound, Great Dane, Weimaraner, Rat Terrier, Whippet, Neapolitan Mastiff, Tibetan Mastiff and Newfoundland.

Several MyDogDNA 2015 tested dogs of the above-mentioned breeds have now a new test result among the previous ones: Color Locus D (MLPH gene): Dilution”.

Please read the test description below:

"The MLPH gene at the D locus modifies the expression of color pigments, especially eumelanin. The recessive d allele is responsible for the dilute coat color. Dilution causes the dark eumelanin pigmented color to lighten from black to blue or from brown to isabella/lilac. Red/yellow phaeomelanin pigment may be lightened to some extent as well.

Dogs with dilute coat color are known in many breeds. The dilution gene affects especially dark eumelanin pigment (black, brown), although red/yellow phaeomelanin pigment may be diluted as well. Color dilution is characterized by a silvery grey (blue) shade of the black fur areas and sandy color (isabella, lilac) of the brown fur areas. Also the pigment of the skin and eyes is paler in dilute dogs than in non-dilute dogs. Phaeomelanin colored dogs are sometimes difficult to detect as dilute since the dilution in red/yellow phaeomelanin pigment is not as distinct as in dark eumelanin pigment.

The color dilution can be accompanied by a dermatological condition called color dilution alopecia (CDA) or black hair follicular dysplasia (BHFD). CDA and BHFD are characterized by progressive hair loss and occasionally recurrent skin infections.

Dogs that have two copies of the d allele are likely to have dilute coat color. However, the final appearance of the dog will depend on its genetic makeup at the other color modifying loci."