Prospects for whole genome linkage disequilibrium mapping in domestic dog breeds
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Linkage disequilibrium (LD) mapping is commonly used as a fine mapping tool in human genome mapping and has been used with some success for initial disease gene isolation in certain isolated inbred human populations. An understanding of the population history of domestic dog breeds suggests that LD mapping could be routinely utilized in this species for initial genome-wide scans. Such an approach offers significant advantages over traditional linkage analysis. Here, we demonstrate, using canine copper toxicosis in the Bedlington terrier as the model, that LD mapping could be reasonably expected to be a useful strategy in low-resolution, genome-wide scans in pure-bred dogs. Significant LD was demonstrated over distances up to 33.3 cM. It is very unlikely, for a number of reasons discussed, that this result could be extrapolated to the rest of the genome. It is, however, consistent with the expectation given the population structure of canine breeds and, in this breed at least, with the hypothesis that it may be possible to utilize LD in a genomewide scan. In this study, LD mapping confirmed the location of the copper toxicosis in Bedlington terrier gene (CT-BT) and was able to do so in a population that was refractory to traditional linkage analysis.