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Complex Traits

Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD.

Dog Breed Diagram

Procedure (cont.)

5. Have students work in teams of two, and give each team a copy of the “Dog Breed Diagram” (from this slide, or print the student page found in the teacher’s guide). Tell students that the diagram represents the complex genetic relationships among different dog breeds and was developed using information similar to that used for genetic tests ordered for Dovekie. Clarify for students that the circular diagram was created from a linear branching diagram like the one in the previous activity (Slide 8). Have students answer the following questions. Discuss as a group.

  • What is the closest ancestor to dogs? [Wolves] 
  • How many major clusters of dog breeds have been identified? [10] 
  • What is the closest branch to the retriever group? [Newfoundland] 
  • Why are Mastiff-like dogs shown in several different branches of the tree. [They contain genetic similarities to several other groups, probably because of crosses between groups.] 
  • Which breed clusters might be represented in Dovekie based on his appearance? 

Funded by the following grant(s)

Science Education Partnership Award, NIH

Gene U: Inquiry-based Genomics Learning Experiences for Teachers and Students
Grant Number: 5R25OD011134

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Using Learning Technology to Build Human Capital
Grant Number: 57363