Objective - To characterize heritability and mode of inheritance of cataracts and primary lens luxation in Jack Russell Terriers. Animals - 872 Jack Russell Terriers from which buccal epithelial cells were collected and phenotypes for cataracts and lens luxation were determined and an additional 1,898 Jack Russell Terriers without phenotypic information used to complete pedigree relationships and that were included in the analyses. Procedures - Narrow-sense heritabilities and genetic correlation for cataracts and lens luxation were modeled by use of threshold analysis, whereas complex segregation analysis was used to characterize mode of inheritance. For the analyses, dogs < 6 years old, unless confirmed as having cataracts or lens luxation, were classified as an unknown phenotype. The possible involvement of an HSF4 mutation in cataracts was determined by DNA sequencing. Results - Cataracts and primary lens luxation were highly heritable and genetically correlated, and neither was controlled by a single gene. Cataracts were not associated with an HSF4 mutation. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Analysis of the data indicated that concerted selection against both cataracts and primary lens luxation when choosing breeding animals can be used to improve ocular health in Jack Russell Terriers.
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