Hardy-Weinberg expectations in canine breeds: Implications for genetic studies

Andrea D. Short, Lorna J. Kennedy, Annette Barnes, Neale Fretwell, Chris Jones, Wendy Thomson, William E R Ollier

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) is a useful indicator of genotype frequencies within a population and whether they are based on a valid definition of alleles and a randomly mating sample. HWE assumes a stable population of adequate size without selective pressures and is used in human genetic studies as a guide to data quality by comparing observed genotype frequencies to those expected within a population. The calculation of genetic associations in case-control studies assume that the population is "in HWE." Canine breed populations deviate away from many of the criteria for HWE, and if genetic markers are not in HWE, conventional statistical analysis cannot be performed. To date, little attention has been paid as to whether genetic markers in dog breeds are distributed in compliance to HWE. In this study, 109 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped from 13 genes in a cohort of 894 dogs encompassing 33 breeds. Analysis of the entire cohort of dogs revealed a significant deviation away from HWE for all SNPs tested (P <0.00001); analysis of the cohort stratified by breed and subbreed indicated that the majority of the markers complied with HWE expectation. This suggests that canine case-control association studies will be valid if performed within defined breeds. © The American Genetic Association. 2007. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)445-451
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Heredity
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2007




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