We are working very hard to complete our SNP based map of the canine genome that will allow us to take advantage of the automated systems that have been developed for use in the field of human genetics, and which can easily be adapted for use in canine genetics. We would like to use this system to complete the genome scan for the CMO gene. However, since the system is not quite yet in place it makes it difficult to establish and document specific checkpoints to accomplish during the term of a grant.
We should have the system completed for the time for submission for the AKC CHF 2005 regular funding cycle. We are in the process of having one of the companies that has developed an automated high-throughput SNP genotyping system examine our SNPs for compatibility with their system. It is our expectation that they will find the SNPs we have discovered and the high quality ones we have gleaned from the scientific literature will be completely compatible with their system, and we believe that they will be compatible with the systems of other companies as well. An additional benefit of this approach is that this will be a publicly-available resource for all canine genetics researchers, and should result in better gene-finding capabilityes that will result in more tests for the three terrier clubs (Cairn, West Highland and Scottish) as well as for the clubs of other breeds.
I plan to be in touch with the Cairn, West Highland and Scottish Terrier clubs before the AKC CHF deadline to solicit letters of support for this project. In the meantime, we will continue to test the hypotheses that particular candidate genes might be at fault in CMO in the hope that we will be fortunate and find a shortcut to the whole genome scan for this particular disease.