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Yu, Yun; Liu, Langqing; Windig, Jack; Bosse, Mirte; Groenen, Martien A. M. and Crooijmans, Richard P. M. A. (2022): Unique genetic signature and selection footprints in Dutch population of German Longhaired Pointer dogs. In: Animal Genetics, Vol. 53, No. 6: pp. 829-840

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The German Longhaired Pointer (GLP) breed is a versatile pointer dog breed. In the current study, we investigated the genetic diversity of these dogs based on SNP array data and compared it to 11 other pointer setter breeds. The results show that GLPs have a relatively low level of inbreeding among these pointer breeds. In addition, with the availability of pedigree information of the GLPs, we demonstrate that the correlation between pedigree-based inbreeding and genotype-based inbreeding coefficients was high (R = 0.89 and 0.85). By investigating population structure between these 12 pointer setter breeds we showed that GLP is a breed distinct from other pointers and shares common ancestry with a few other pointing breeds. Finally, we identified selection signatures in GLPs using the runs of homozygosity islands method. The most significant runs of homozygosity island was detected on chromosome 30 harboring the genes RYR3, FMN1, and GREM1. The RYR3 gene plays a role in skeletal muscle contraction while the FMN1 and GREM1 genes are involved in limb development. The selection on these three genes could have contributed to the excellent athletic performance of GLPs, which is an extremely important characteristic for this hunting dog.

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