Ridge Project

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States supported the research described below at the University of California at Davis. In October 2007, a different group of Swedish and American researchers published a paper in the journal Nature Genetics describing the mode of inheritance of the ridge in the Ridgeback, as well as drawing a definitive correlation between the presence of the ridge and dermoid sinus.

Ridge Inheritence

CHF Grant 459 (2005)

Exploring the Genetic Loss of a Hallmark Trait: Ridgelessness in the Rhodesian Ridgeback
Principal investigator: Mark W. Neff, PhD, University of California at Davis

In October 2003, researchers at the University of California at Davis began collecting the DNA of ridged and ridgeless Ridgebacks alike in the hopes of finding the gene responsible for the breed’s hallmark trait. We are pleased to report that the laboratory has successfully mapped the region of the genome that governs ridge/ridgeless.

Currently, the researchers are using every means they have available to identify the exact gene responsible for determining whether a dog will have a ridge or not. Once the mutation is identified, UC Davis will work toward creating a DNA test that will tell breeders whether or not their dogs have the ability to produce ridgeless. The identification of a specific mutation will also pave the way for further ridge research, ideally allowing the researchers to identify modifying genes responsible for differences in ridge pattern, including crowns, fans and length.

Breed-community support of this project has been strong, and to date the number of Ridgeback samples in the UC Davis database is approaching 700 dogs. This represents a wide sampling of the breed, from perfectly ridged dogs to faulty ridged dogs to ridgeless.

Of the 700 samples, approximately 70 are ridgeless. UC Davis would like to add more ridgeless DNA to the database, and owners and breeders who have not yet submitted such DNA are encouraged to do so. DNA from ridged dogs is also needed and appreciated.

To learn how to submit DNA on your ridged or ridgeless Ridgeback, please click here.

The Ridge Project (UC Davis) FAQ

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