Scientists at UC Davis have identified the gene responsible for tooth disorder common in Italian greyhounds (IG).
Enamel hypoplasia in IGs is characterized by discolored, rough surfaced teeth, the condition is caused by incomplete mineral deposition and/or defective organization of enamel during the development of the tooth. The genetic disorder was traced back to a 5bp deletion in the ENAM gene.
The authors also report that the mutation appears to be under positive selection. So while breeders were busy selecting for some breed type they liked, they were also inadvertently selecting the IG for bad teeth. The result is that 14% of IGs are affected with EH and 30% of them are carriers.
Another example of breeders and their arbitrary selection methods negatively impacting the breed they are “improving.”
UC Veterinary Genetics Laboratory now offers a genetic test to help breeders better manage the population. Hopefully responsible breeders and IG fanciers will start demanding this test along with the other usual health checks.
Gandolfi B, Liu H, Griffioen L, & Pedersen NC (2013). Simple recessive mutation in ENAM is associated with amelogenesis imperfecta in Italian Greyhounds. Animal genetics, 44 (5), 569-78 PMID: 23638899