A new initiative is being planned that could eventually lead to the creation of one of the largest open access cat and dog genome databases in the world.
Mars Petcare is partnering with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to collect the genomes of 10,000 dogs and 10,000 cats enrolled in the Mars Petcare Biobank. The initiative will be sequenced over the next 10 years.
Better Health Care For The Future
The aim of the project is to help advance individualised pet health care for future generations of dogs and cats. Mars Petcare plans to release the first raw genome sequences as soon as they become available throughout 2023, with additional, processed data to follow as pets are enrolled in the biobank study.
As part of the initiative, Mars Petcare scientists will be analysing data and publishing initial results for the scientific community throughout 2023 and beyond.
Research Across A Range Of Areas
According to the Mars Petcare website, the full genome sequence and variant data of the 20,000 pets will be made publicly available via the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Sequence Read Archive.
This will allow scientific investigation across a range of areas, such as in-depth dog- and cat-breed ancestry, new genetic mutations specific to certain dog and cat breeds and how they link to diseases, as well as pets’ aging process.
'A Better World For Pets'
"The opportunity to better understand cat and dog genetics through specifically designed gene sequencing studies is an important milestone that will help us deliver on our purpose, a better world for pets. Together with our partners at the Broad Institute we hope to find several key ways to provide clinically focused, real-world data," said Mars Petcare Science & Diagnostics President, Nefertiti Greene.
"This is essential for developing more effective precision medicines and that lead to scientific breakthroughs for the future of pet health."