The DNA Archive (or DNA Bank) is simply a storage facility for Glen buccal (cheek) swabs, along with pedigree data and health information.
Contributions to the DNA Archive are welcome from non-UK resident Glens, as well as those living in the UK … from Glens of all ages and health status.
Many Glen owners will remember the Bochum (Germany) and Cornell (USA) research projects, which identified the gene responsible for the Glen variant of PRA (progressive retinal atrophy). Initially, with the Bochum project, a number of breed club representatives from the UK and mainland Europe collaborated with the identification of affected Glens, and together they analysed pedigrees to identify close relatives who could also potentially carry the gene mutation. After this came the search for completely unrelated, unaffected Glens (controls), as important to the research process as the affected and carrier status Glens. Then began the quest to locate owners and request DNA samples for the research team.
This highlights the importance of breed clubs, breeders and owners from different countries and continents collaborating with health research projects in this numerically small breed. It also illustrates the time-consuming processes required to identify dogs and collect DNA samples before the scientists can begin their research.
The advantage to the research scientists of having a DNA archive is that the identification of affected dogs and the analysis of pedigrees to find close relatives, and non-related “control” dogs becomes a much simpler and quicker process, because everything required to initiate and progress a health research project is readily available in one place: