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ABSTRACT: The outstanding sensitivity of the canine olfactory system has been acknowledged by using sniffer dogs in military and civilian service for detection of a variety of odors. It is hypothesized that the canine olfactory ability is determined by polymorphisms in olfactory receptor (OR) genes. We investigated 5 OR genes for polymorphic sites which might affect the olfactory ability of service dogs in different fields of specific substance detection. All investigated OR DNA sequences proved to have allelic variants, the majority of which lead to protein sequence alteration. Homozygous individuals at 2 gene loci significantly differed in their detection skills from other genotypes. This suggests a role of specific alleles in odor detection and a linkage between single-nucleotide polymorphism and odor recognition efficiency.
The Journal of heredity 01/2008; 99(5):518-27. · 2.05 Impact Factor