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MT14-010: Development of a genetic test for silver coat color

The availability of genomic resources for cats has enabled the field of feline genetics to flourish. The first dense SNP array, a genetic tool that provides a general overview of entire genomes from hundreds of cats in a single experiment, provided the needed resource to localize where traits reside in the genome. Many successes started to emerge, from diseases to aesthetic traits, such as: hypokalemia and a craniofacial defect within the Burmese breed. This translated into highly sensitive and specific genetic testing using material such as cheek swabs easily collectable by cat breeders and owners. The breed is currently benefiting from the availability of a genetic test and a breeding management is now possible, enhancing the health of the breed. The arrays also localized to their genomic location other traits, one such highly sought phenotypic trait by cat fanciers is the Silver coloration found across several breeds and random bred cats. To identify the responsible mutation(s) associated with this trait, whole genomes of affected and healthy individuals from over 30 cats with known coat color were sequenced. This application proposes to screen the mutation(s) identified by the whole genome sequence approach to 300 cats with known phenotype to prove the association with the trait. The identification of this mutation will enable the development of a specific accurate genetic test will be used by cat fanciers and aid population management studies.

Grant ID: MT14-010

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2014

Amount awarded: $10,000

Investigator: Barbara Gandolfi, PhD; University of Missouri