Give a Dog a Genome (GDG) Update

As you already know, we selected two Irish Setters with Idiopathic epilepsy to be whole genome sequenced as part of Give a Dog a Genome (GDG). The sequencing of the second dog has now been completed by the external laboratory and the data has been made available for us to download.

What happens next?

The amount of data generated for each sample is enormous, around 80-90 Gb. To put that into perspective, data from only 10 dogs will fill up the average modern personal computer, and the processing of the data will use the full capacity of the computer for months. As a result it takes time (about 1 week) and a great deal of computing power to download and process the data so that it is ready for analysis. Once we complete this stage the Irish Setter Idiopathic epilepsy data will be ready for further analysis.

The data will be added to the genome bank, and will begin contributing to studies in other breeds immediately. In addition, the data will be made available to other scientists for use in their own studies, and your breed has therefore made a vital contribution to genetic research affecting the welfare of dogs worldwide.

Analysis of the data to attempt to identify any variants that contribute to Idiopathic epilepsy in Irish Setters will take far longer. Please be aware that it is entirely possible that we will not be able to identify any variants that contribute to this condition, at all.

You will continue to receive any general GDG updates, but apart from that we will contact you only if there is something specific to the Irish Setter to report. If you don’t hear from us, it means that we are still in the analysis stage and have not found anything of significance.

I would once again like to thank you and the breed community for participating in Give a Dog a Genome.

Louise Burmeister

Postdoctoral Research Scientist 

Animal Health Trust

Further information on the project can be found on the AHT website: