Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Variation of cats under domestication

Kurushima, J. D., Lipinski, M. J., Gandolfi, B., Froenicke, L., Grahn, J. C., Grahn, R. A., & Lyons, L. A. (2013). Variation of cats under domestication: genetic assignment of domestic cats to breeds and worldwide random‐bred populations. Animal genetics, 44(3), 311-324.

Both cat breeders and the lay public have interests in the origins of their pets, not only in the genetic identity of the purebred individuals, but also the historical origins of common household cats. 
The cat fancy is a relatively new institution with over 85% of its 40–50 breeds arising only in the past 75 years, primarily through selection on single-gene aesthetic traits. The short, yet intense cat breed history poses a significant challenge to the development of a genetic marker-based breed identification strategy. Using different breed assignment strategies and methods, 477 cats representing 29 fancy breeds were analysed with 38 short tandem repeats, 148 intergenic and five phenotypic single nucleotide polymorphisms. Results suggest the frequentist method of Paetkau (accuracy single nucleotide polymorphisms = 0.78, short tandem repeats = 0.88) surpasses the Bayesian method of Rannala and Mountain (single nucleotide polymorphisms = 0.56, short tandem repeats = 0.83) for accurate assignment of individuals to the correct breed. Additionally, a post-assignment verification step with the five phenotypic single nucleotide polymorphisms accurately identified between 0.31 and 0.58 of the mis-assigned individuals raising the sensitivity of assignment with the frequentist method to 0.89 and 0.92 single nucleotide polymorphisms and short tandem repeats respectively. This study provides a novel multi-step assignment strategy and suggests that, despite their short breed history and breed family groupings, a majority of cats can be assigned to their proper breed or population of origin, i.e. race.

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