Why Huskies have Blue Eyes

  • Thread starter jedishrfu
  • Start date

Answers and Replies

  • #2
symbolipoint
Homework Helper
Education Advisor
Gold Member
5,849
1,035
I took a look at the article and it makes no sense; not that I have any kind of knowledge of Genetics; but just I cannot understand or find any kind of conclusions in the article.

My own impression is that blue-eye color was not intentionally selected, but was just a carry-along with the breeding selection process.
 
  • #3
11,495
5,033
The team found the gene marker that was significant in giving huskies blue eyes using consumer collected dna data. Embark is to dig what 23andMe is to people.

It was actually a duplication that was found near the ALX3 gene on chromosome 18 that correlated with Siberian huskies blue eyes.
 
  • #4
symbolipoint
Homework Helper
Education Advisor
Gold Member
5,849
1,035
The team found the gene marker that was significant in giving huskies blue eyes using consumer collected dna data. Embark is to dig what 23andMe is to people.

It was actually a duplication that was found near the ALX3 gene on chromosome 18 that correlated with Siberian huskies blue eyes.
A bunch of very technical stuff. I am sure I am missing the main point. I wonder if the breeding plan was aimed at achieving the blue eyes or not. My feeling is that the blue eyes was not the goal but just what came along with the breedings.
 
  • #5
BillTre
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,337
2,690
I wonder if the breeding plan was aimed at achieving the blue eyes or not.
Seems unlikely someone with a working dog line (Huskies) would be something that would be bred or selected for before there were blue eyed dogs.

However, once a blue eyed dog was found, if it is genetically based, a dog breeder should be able to easily preserve the mutation through traditional (pre-Mendelian) breeding techniques.
If there was enough interest in it.
Difficulties might arise if the mutation had other effects, especially on viability.

On the other hand, perhaps another trait, very beneficial to the husky, was also effected by the dupication. Then the blue eye trait would be carried along by the duplication driven by the positive selective value of the other (tightly linked-genetically close) gene.
 
  • #6
jim mcnamara
Mentor
3,791
2,122
@symbolipoint
The word consumer may not have the meaning you apply. Personal genomics refers to using DNA research for understanding your own personal DNA. It does not necessarily have to be marketed. In this case dog owners contributed information for dogs wit known DNA data: they provided what the dogs looked like, the phenotype. So the researchers could figure out where in the dog genome blue eye color is expressed.

Dogs have a DNA "bank" of data as well. Pet owners were bound to exploit this, us Westerners have a unique view of pets :biggrin:
https://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/2018/10/04
 
  • #7
11,495
5,033
Here’s s Newsweek article on the same paper

https://www.newsweek.com/why-do-huskies-have-blue-eyes-1152333

The is genomic research using a big data approach. They have a pool of dog owners who have filled out questionnaires about their dogs traits and behaviors, provided a photo and have provided dna to the company. The researchers sequenced the dna and filed the results away for future studies.

This study asked the question about the unique blue eyes in Siberian huskies and so having all this data were able to conjecture that this variation being close to genes for mammalian eyes was the reason for the blueness.

The service they provide to dog owners is a genetic disposition report stating what issues your dog may experience as they age. They hope to get vets, owners and breeders on board and improve dog health by anticipating problems before they arise.

We had our dog profiled because it’s a breed that had no representation in the database at the time.

It will be interesting what other new things they will discover. I know some breeders aren’t happy about it for fear that will find a show stopper in their breeding stock that will cause buyers to shy away.

I can envision a buyer showing up and saying:

Show me the DogFax.

Before buying a dog.
 
  • #8
symbolipoint
Homework Helper
Education Advisor
Gold Member
5,849
1,035
@symbolipoint
The word consumer may not have the meaning you apply. Personal genomics refers to using DNA research for understanding your own personal DNA. It does not necessarily have to be marketed. In this case dog owners contributed information for dogs wit known DNA data: they provided what the dogs looked like, the phenotype. So the researchers could figure out where in the dog genome blue eye color is expressed.

Dogs have a DNA "bank" of data as well. Pet owners were bound to exploit this, us Westerners have a unique view of pets :biggrin:
https://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/2018/10/04
Unclear what you mean. I did not use the word "consumer". I did not see or remember seeing it in the article (that word, "consumer"). Post #7 suggests the word, but I did not intentionally use the word.

I am curious where the discussion will lead and maybe i am curious about the breeding of dogs. For the breeding of working dogs such as Siberian Husky, one would imagine that the goal and focus was on functionality and train-ability. You can talk about eye color all you want. Have fun with it. From what I have read so far, the blue eye color in Huskies is not associated with any health effects - unlike what is found in some other breeds such as Dalmatians, which if I remember right, blue eyes more correlated to deafness than non-blue eyes.
 
  • #9
11,495
5,033
Embark is selling dna kits for dogs. You can buy one to get a reading on your dog. The data is also collected and helps to improve the prediction capabilities of Embark and others they share their data with.

The people who buy the dna kit are consumers of Embarks services and thus this becomes consumer genomics. In return Embark gives them a genetic report of possible ailments their pets may have and also a kind breed geniology to show what the dog really is. Embark then uses the dog dna for other genomics related analysis and may add new features to the clients dna report over time.

Breeders don’t like it because of the possibility of identifying bad traits in their stock such as the propensity to have a twisted stomach condition which is often fatal to a dog. My brother lost his prized dog that way. It was an Australian Shepherd.

https://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1007648

The article says direct to consumer too.

I guess it’s time to close this thread as there’s nothing more to cover. Thank you all for contributing.
 
Last edited:

Related Threads on Why Huskies have Blue Eyes

Replies
16
Views
138K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
3K
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
17
Views
9K
Replies
8
Views
28K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
1K
Replies
6
Views
17K
Top