© de Caprona ~ Long haired
focus on the Weimaraner, comparison to other dog breeds including the
Summary by Dr.
© de Caprona
photographs copyrighted to the photographers. Please do not use text or
photos for any purpose without asking.
In the study
ancestors of dog breeds with focus on Weimaraner hunting dogs", R.
and collaborators (see references) analyse the mitochondrial DNA
inherited maternally) and the Y chromosome (inherited paternally) of 27
dog breeds, with a special focus on the Weimaraner hunting dog. This
aims thus at understanding the sex-specific contribution at the time of
breed formation, a question which cannot be answered with the use of
microsatellites.The Weimaraner is a German hunting pointer breed whose
first standard dates back to 1878.
A total of 111
34 of which were Weimaraners, were studied as well as 4 wolves from
for comparison (male dogs inherit both mtDNA and Y chromosome, whereas
female dogs inherit only the mtDNA). In all, 1947 base pairs of the
genome were examined, as well as 9 potentially polymorphic markers of
20 Y chromosome and
haplotypes were identified in the 27 dog breeds and the wolves studied.
16 Y chromosome haplotypes and 55 mtDNA haplotypes were identified in
in 34 male dogs of this breed of both varieties, smooth coated and
4 distinct Y chromosome haplotypes and 3 mtDNA haplotypes were found,
showing that at least 4 different males and 3 different females awee
foundation of the German Weimaraner population.
Of the 4 haplotypes (Y1,Y2,Y3,Y4), the haplotypes Y1 and Y3 were found
only in the short haired Weimaraner. Haplotype Y4 is shared with the
and Giant Schnauzer. The Y2 haplotype was found to be the most frequent
in the breed (50% of the dogs) and is shared with 7 other breeds
Schapendoes, Airedale Terrier, Large Munsterlander, Miniature Poodle,
the 3 mtDNA haplotypes, 2 are Weimaraner specific (M1 and M2).
M1 is the most frequent (67.7% of the dogs). Haplotype M2 differs from
haplotype M3 in only one position (nucleotide 8479 in the ATP synthase
subunit 6 gene). M3 is shared with the Standard Schnauzer in this
This study revealed
some inconsistencies in the Weimaraner Studbook Some of the records
be be reconciled with these male and female founders indicating some
parentage at some point in time during the past 130 years of Weimaraner
other pointer/hunting breeds
of the Weimaraner and the Large Münsterländer in this study
other breeds of pointer/hunting type dogs (German Short-Haired Pointer,
English Setter, Deutsch Drahthaar, Epagneul Breton, English Pointer,
Setter) in a study by Parra et al (2008) shows diverse haplotypes.
25 polymorphic sites were identified, of which 14 variations in mt
sequences were not observed in the pointer breeds of the Parra et al
and 5 variable positions detected in the pointer breeds of the
et al study were not found in the Weimaraner and the Large
The Weimaraner and the Münsterländer therefore do not share
amount of maternal lines with these other hunting breeds.
breeds in the
The other breeds
comparison were: Australian Cattle dog, Berger des
Kuvasz, Saarlos Wolfhound, Schapendoes, Dobermann, Entlebucher Mountain
Dog, Tibetan Mastiff, Shar Pei, German Pinscher, Miniature Schnauzer,
Schnauzer, Giant Schnauzer, Airedale Terrier, Dachshund, Chow Chow,
Setter, Large Munsterlander, Weimaraner, Cocker Spaniel, Golden
Labrador Retriever, Miniature Poodle, Tibetan Terrier, Borzoi, Saluki, Sloughi.
Of these breeds
breeds, Sharpei, Tibetan Mastiff and Tibetan Terrier and one German
the Dobermann, are completely separated from the others in both their
and their Y chromosome haplotypes. All others are partially segregated
with some sharing of haplotypes with other breeds in the study.
In addition to the
above, breeds which share no maternal lines ( mtDNA haplotypes) with
in the study are the Kuvasz, the Saarlos Wolfhound, the Irish Setter,
Cocker Spaniel, the Labrador Retriever and the Sloughi and
which share no paternal lines (Y chromosome haplotypes) with others are
the Berger des Pyrénées and the Saluki.
The results of
also show that this sharing of haplotypes is found across FCI groups
very different looking breeds, they are not restricted to within FCI
therefore not supporting the classification of these breeds in the FCI
This study reveals
the three breeds examined are different in their maternal and paternal
Borzoi © de
Caprona ~ Saluki ©
Sloughi © de Caprona
has 2 mtDNA
haplotypes, M15 being breed specific, M6 being shared with Entlebucher
Mountain Dog and Dachshund, and one Y chromosome haplotype Y2
The Saluki has
being breed specific, M5 being shared
Golden Retriever and Berger des Pyrénées, and one breed
Y chromosome haplotype Y7
3 mtDNA haplotypes, M48, M49, M50, all breed specific and
has one Y chromosome haplotype Y2 shared with other breeds
In this study,
no overlap in the mtDNA haplotypes of these 3 breeds, and
is no overlap between Sloughi and Saluki in both the maternal (mtDNA)
the paternal (Y chromosome) lineages
The Y chromosome
Y2, shared by Borzoi and Sloughi is the most frequent in this study,
in very different looking breeds, and for this reason is considered to
be the most ancient, potentially in existence before breeds of dogs
and evolved to become what they are today.
Although the number
is limited, these results add to what is already known about the
of these Sighthound breeds.
All the 4
and the 2 Y chromosome haplotypes were wolf specific, none were shared
with the dog breeds in this study. All
4 wolves samples came from a Romanian population, with perhaps little
to local dogs. The authors suggest their finding is supported by other
studies of wolf populations from Eastern Europe which display spatial
structure (Pilot et al. 2006) and geographic haplotype specificity in
in other areas (Vila et al 1997).
The results of this
show that both mtDNA and Y chromosome haplotypes were shared across
suggesting common ancient ancestry in both maternal and paternal lines.
At the same time a large number of these haplotypes were breed specific.
(Y chromosome), the authors state: "In the case of haplotype Y2
the most ancient and additionally the most frequent haplotype in
breeds, this finding could be taken as a hint that dogs generally share
a common Y chromosome pool as it was identified for mt genome (Pang
et al 2009)"
J.T. Epplen for fine tuning this text and all the photographers who
permitted the use of their photographs.
Dekomien G. and Epplen J.T. (2010): "On
ancestors of dog breeds with focus on Weimaraner hunting dogs", Journal
of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Blackwell Verlag GmbH, Germany.