In the decade following publication of the draft genome sequence of the domestic dog, extraordinary advances with application to several fields have been credited to the canine genetic system. Taking advantage of closed breeding populations and the subsequent selection for aesthetic and behavioral characteristics, researchers have leveraged the dog as an effective natural model for the study of complex traits, such as disease susceptibility, behavior, and morphology, generating unique contributions to human health and biology. When designing genetic studies using purebred dogs, it is essential to consider the unique demography of each population, including estimation of effective population size and timing of population bottlenecks. The analytical design approach for genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and analysis of whole genome sequence (WGS) experiments are inextricable from demographic data.
We have performed a comprehensive study of genomic homozygosity, using high-depth WGS data for 90 individuals, and Illumina HD SNP data from 800 individuals representing 80 breeds. These data were coupled with extensive pedigree data analyses for 11 breeds that, together, allowed us to compute breed structure, demography, and molecular measures of genome diversity. Our comparative analyses characterize the extent, formation, and implication of breed-specific diversity as it relates to population structure. These data demonstrate the relationship between breed-specific genome dynamics and population architecture, and provide essential important considerations influencing the technological and sampling cohort design of association and other genomic studies.