Sketching Man’s Best Friend - Canine DNA Phenotyping for Forensic Purposes
Heinrich,J.; Berger,B.; Hecht,W.; Hellmann,A.; Rohleder,U.; Schleenbecker,U.; Morf,N.; Phillips,C.; Parson,W.; Berger,C.; CaDNAP Group
Forensic Short Tandem Repeat (STR) analysis is the gold standard to identify canine individuals, or to link crime scene traces to the donor dog. However, forensic DNA fingerprinting loses its evidential power when no canine suspect DNA is available. To overcome this limitation, we aim to develop a method to predict externally visible traits of dogs based on DNA. Previous studies have already shown that externally visible characteristics of dogs are caused by variations in a surprisingly small number of genes and only a few mutations are probably responsible for the extraordinary diversity of this species. Due to this special characteristic of dog genetics, developing a suitable marker set for typing external visible traits appears highly promising and could contribute significantly to the toolbox for canine DNA analysis in forensic casework.