At Wisdom Panel, we believe you can never know too much about the pets you adore. That’s why we’re excited to introduce our latest product feature: Chromosome Browser.
Chromosome Browser, available to Wisdom Panel Premium customers, enables pet parents to dig deeper into their dog’s DNA and visualize how the different breeds in their ancestry work together to create a one-of-a-kind pup. Let’s take a look at how it works.
What are chromosomes?
Chromosomes are tightly packed strands of DNA, each containing many (as in hundreds to thousands) of genes. Chromosomes come in pairs, with one chromosome in each pair coming from the mother and one from the father. So, for example, if your dog’s dad was a Labrador Retriever and their mom was a Border Collie, your dog would have one copy of Lab and one copy of Border Collie for each of their chromosome pairs. The number of chromosomes varies between species, with dogs having 39 pairs.
A dog’s physical traits are determined (or, in some cases, strongly influenced) by different parts of specific chromosomes. For example, a curly coat is determined by a DNA variant found on chromosome 27. So if your dog has a curly coat, it’s the result of the specific chromosome segments they inherited from their parents on that particular chromosome.
Chromosome Browser delivers an advanced ancestry breakdown
Knowing your dog has seven breeds in their ancestry mix is one thing. But wouldn’t you like to understand where each of those breeds shows up in your dog’s overall genetic picture? With Chromosome Browser, you can! This feature creates a visual map of the breed information found in 38 of your pup’s chromosome pairs. (The 39th pair determines your dog’s genetic sex and is not included in the visualization.) So how does it work?
Chromosome Browser uses different colors to indicate which parts of each chromosome came from the breeds in your dog’s ancestry. And the more complex the color combination, the more complex your dog’s ancestry. Why? Because chromosomes split and shuffle between each generation. So how your dog looks is the unique result of all the mixed chromosome pieces passed on by their ancestors. Generally speaking, the longer a run of a single color along a chromosome, the more recent the connection to that particular breed.