1999 Volume 61 Issue 12 Pages 1281-1286
The D4 dopamine receptor (D4DR) polymorphic region, which is possibly related to the personality trait known as novelty seeking in humans, was examined in 34 dogs from two breeds (Golden retriever and the Japanese indigenous breed, Shiba) by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and the DNA sequences of each allele were determined. The polymorphic region of the dog D4DR gene was composed of 39- and 12- base pair (bp) units, and four alleles (A-D) were identified based on the number and/or order of these units. Intra- and inter-breed allele variations were observed. The frequency of the short A allele was dominant (78.9%) in the Golden retriever, while the long D allele was most common (46.7%) in the Shiba. These findings suggested that the allele frequency varied significantly between different breeds, and that analysis of the polymorphism in D4DR might be of use for understanding the behavioral traits of dogs.