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Delilah Embark Test

This is a discussion on Delilah Embark Test within the Dog Breeds forums, part of the Other Dogforum Interests category; Genetic makeup seemed surprising. I wouldn't have thought that they could tell that....

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Old 01-10-2017, 01:16 PM
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Genetic makeup seemed surprising. I wouldn't have thought that they could tell that.
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:18 PM
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Public Results
So overall I'm very impressed with this test! I wanted it because I was curious about breed, but the health results and genetic traits ended up being much more interesting and useful to me! This was very very cool, and I have the option of downloading her raw DNA data if I wanted to interpret it on my own. It would be in the form of base pairs, A, C, T, and G at each marker. That's a little over my head lol, but it's nice that they give you that option. The other nice thing that they do is that as the test evolves, they get more breed samples, or develop more tests for genetic diseases, they will automatically update my results- I wouldn't have to buy a new test or pay for the new information.

Health Results

I believe the only part you can't see on Delilah's public profile is the health results. They tested her for 162 different genetic diseases and disorders. Surprisingly, she was clear for all of them! Not even a carrier. Not every disease tested for exists in terriers, many of them are breed specific diseases. But I guess the idea is if you have a mutt and you don't know what it is, it could potentially have any of them!



Breed

The test says that Delilah is about 88% Russell-Type Terrier (Jacks, Parsons, and Russell terriers) and 12% Rat Terrier. I suspected Rat Terrier, I didn't really think she was JRT at all! Even the ones without the short legs tend to be sturdier dogs. Additionally, the analysis estimated her weight to be around 18 lbs, which would make sense for a JRT x Rat Terrier mix, but Delilah is only a third of that size!

I emailed the company asking about the size and telling them that I had suspected Delilah to be a Toy Fox Terrier. They got back to me within 24 hours and this was the response:

"I can understand why you would wonder that. Delilah shares five times as much of her genetic material with Russell-Type Terriers than Toy Fox Terriers, which is consistent with Russell-Type Terrier ancestry (as you point out the two breeds are related so any dog that has one in them will also have some---but less---genetic material matching the other breed). So it's not really possible that she has much Toy Fox Terrier in her. With that said, it's impossible with these related breeds to rule out small genetic contributions from a breed like Toy Fox Terrier that are masked by the much larger Russell-Type Terrier ancestry, and it's possible that contributed to her looks. But I want to stress that from her genes, she most likely is 88% Russell-Type Terrier and 12% Rat Terrier, and she certainly has no more than 5% Toy Fox Terrier in any case.

Regarding her size, the genetics for extremely large or extremely small size aren't very well known. Our algorithm uses all the known body size loci and Delilah had the small version of almost all of them which is why she is predicted to be a small dog (<20 lbs). We're hoping to use dogs of extreme size (both large and small) to help scientists discover the mutations that differentiate small dogs from tiny dogs (and large dogs from massive dogs), and will add Delilah's weight information to our research panel. Thanks for sending it!"

Delilah with Leo, a full JRT.
ETA: On a scale from 1-10, how annoying would it be if I started calling Delilah my Teacup Russell? xD


Traits

I've just always been interested in coat color genetics so I found that section to be pretty interesting. Also the JRT and Rat terrier would explain why she's red and white with a mask since TFTs can't be that color.

Inbreeding

The traits section is the section where I first noticed the surprise. Her inbreeding coefficient is 47%, which is very high. I always suspected she was a little inbred because she's a little mentally abnormal, and we've always had some sort of health or behavior issue going on with her. I didn't realize it was that high. A brother x sister mating would result in an inbreeding coefficient of roughly 50%. There are a couple of visuals included that also indicate a brother x sister mating (as opposed to a 100% inbred dog crossed with a non inbred dog). One is on the summary when it breaks down the breed mix by chromosome. Rather than a pure Russell crossed with a Russell x Rat Terrier, it looks like the chromosomes from each parent (in a chromosome pair, one comes from the father and one from the mother) are very similar and both contain mostly JRT DNA with a little bit of Rat Terrier DNA. In some pairs, such as 13 and 37, the chromosomes look almost identical. So the parents were the same mix. This is represented in the family tree, where both parents had an identical background. It really looks like her parents were indeed siblings. This explains SO MUCH about her health and mental issues.

Last edited by revolutionrocknroll; 01-11-2017 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:56 PM
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This is a very cool set of results, thanks for sharing!

On size, I've noticed with cats and my pup that health problems during developmental stages tend to lead to smaller animals. Did you get her as a puppy or is it possible she had some issues before getting to you? I can't find anything to back up these observations though.
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:27 PM
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Fascinating thanks for sharing!
The inbreeding is interesting for sure
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:49 PM
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This is super interesting. I'd love to do one on Chisum to see if his suspected breed is correct and if there's any inbreeding in his background (I suspect yes).

Such cool results!!
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas View Post
This is a very cool set of results, thanks for sharing!

On size, I've noticed with cats and my pup that health problems during developmental stages tend to lead to smaller animals. Did you get her as a puppy or is it possible she had some issues before getting to you? I can't find anything to back up these observations though.
The rescue told me 9 months, her paperwork said 5 months. I think the paperwork was closer because she was still kind of puppyish when I got her. Probably 5-6 months and she had been found as a stray prior to that. When I got her, even though she had already been with the rescue for a few weeks, she was still all skin and bones! I don't think she had eaten anything as a stray, we're really surprised she survived "in the wild" as we put it.
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by PoppyKenna View Post
This is super interesting. I'd love to do one on Chisum to see if his suspected breed is correct and if there's any inbreeding in his background (I suspect yes).

Such cool results!!
I would be very interested to see Chisum's results too!
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