Open Access Short Report

Comparison of buccal and blood-derived canine DNA, either native or whole genome amplified, for array-based genome-wide association studies

Gonzalo Rincon1, Katarina Tengvall2, Janelle M Belanger1, Laetitia Lagoutte3, Juan F Medrano1, Catherine André3, Anne Thomas4, Cynthia Taylor Lawley5, Mark ST Hansen5, Kerstin Lindblad-Toh26 and Anita M Oberbauer1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA

2 Science for Life Laboratory, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

3 UMR6061 Institut de Génétique et Développement, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université de Rennes 1, F-35000 Rennes, France

4 Antagene, Animal Genetics Laboratory, 2 Allée des Séquoias, 69578, Limonest (Lyon), France

5 Illumina, Inc. 9885 Towne Centre Drive, San Diego, CA 92121, USA

6 The Broad Institute, Seven Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:226  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-226

Published: 30 June 2011



The availability of array-based genotyping platforms for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for the canine genome has expanded the opportunities to undertake genome-wide association (GWA) studies to identify the genetic basis for Mendelian and complex traits. Whole blood as the source of high quality DNA is undisputed but often proves impractical for collection of the large numbers of samples necessary to discover the loci underlying complex traits. Further, many countries prohibit the collection of blood from dogs unless medically necessary thereby restricting access to critical control samples from healthy dogs. Alternate sources of DNA, typically from buccal cytobrush extractions, while convenient, have been suggested to have low yield and perform poorly in GWA. Yet buccal cytobrushes provide a cost-effective means of collecting DNA, are readily accepted by dog owners, and represent a large resource base in many canine genetics laboratories. To increase the DNA quantities, whole genome amplification (WGA) can be performed. Thus, the present study assessed the utility of buccal-derived DNA as well as whole genome amplification in comparison to blood samples for use on the most recent iteration of the canine HD SNP array (Illumina).


In both buccal and blood samples, whether whole genome amplified or not, 97% of the samples had SNP call rates in excess of 80% indicating that the vast majority of the SNPs would be suitable to perform association studies regardless of the DNA source. Similarly, there were no significant differences in marker intensity measurements between buccal and blood samples for copy number variations (CNV) analysis.


All DNA samples assayed, buccal or blood, native or whole genome amplified, are appropriate for use in array-based genome-wide association studies. The concordance between subsets of dogs for which both buccal and blood samples, or those samples whole genome amplified, was shown to average >99%. Thus, the two DNA sources were comparable in the generation of SNP genotypes and intensity values to estimate structural variation indicating the utility for the use of buccal cytobrush samples and the reliability of whole genome amplification for genome-wide association and CNV studies.