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Inherited blindness in Bengal cats

Winn grant W12-022
Molecular characterization of Bengal progressive retinal atrophy
Investigator: Robert A. Grahn; University of California, Davis

Inherited blindness is a devastating disease common to many species. In people, over 25 different forms of inherited retinal blindness have been clinically characterized. Cats also have several forms of blindness that destroy the photoreceptors at the back of the eye. These conditions will randomly occur in a particular cat breed and then will be inherited. Some forms of blindness attack the photoreceptors shortly after birth, while other forms take longer to destroy vision. Several Bengal cats have been diagnosed with a form of blindness that destroys their vision at around 5 months of age. A genome wide association case control study has indicated a candidate region for a possible mutation causing progressive retinal atrophy in the Bengal breed. This proposal will obtain the sequence of the RNA and DNA of this candidate gene to identify the mutation and allow for development of a genetic test to help reduce the prevalence of the disease in the Bengal breed.

This study has received partial funding from Winn according to our guidelines for breed-specific projects. Please donate so that the project may be fully funded.