The genetics of merle coat patterns in dogs

Merle coat patterns, prevalent in breeds like Dachshunds, Great Danes, and Collies, can vary greatly. In this blog, researchers from Clemson University examined how these coat pattern varieties differ on the genetic level.

Sarah Murphy, B.S. is a graduate research assistant in the Department of Genetics & Biochemistry at Clemson University. Her dissertation research focuses on the genetic basis of congenital idiopathic megaesophagus in German Shepherd Dogs and Great Danes.

Dr. Leigh Anne Clark began studying canine genetics in 2000 as a doctoral student at Texas A&M University. In 2009, she moved to the Department of Genetics & Biochemistry at Clemson University where her laboratory studies the genetic underpinnings of hereditary diseases and phenotypes of dogs. Dr. Clark identified the Merle SINE in 2005 and is currently owned by a standard merle collie.