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German Shepherd's Own Sequence

Researchers have sequenced the genome of a German shepherd called Nala.

The dog genome was first published in 2005, but the researchers led by the University of New South Wales' Bill Ballard say that by examining the genome of this particular dog breed, they could generate a more complete view of dog genetics as well as have a reference for future studies into conditions affecting German shepherds.

Ballard notes that German shepherds are prone to developing hip dysplasia. "Because German shepherds make such good working dogs, there has been a lot of money spent looking into the causes and predictors of this problem," he says in a statement. "Now that we have the genome, we can determine much earlier in life whether the dog is likely to develop the condition."

As they report in GigaScience this week, Ballard and his colleagues sequenced Nala's genome using a combination of tools, including Pacific Bioscience, Oxford Nanopore, 10X Genomics, Bionano, and Hi-C technologies, to generate a highly contiguous genome.