The genetics of canine olfaction

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Dogs have a great sense of olfaction, but unlike many other mammals, which also show superior olfactory performance, many dog breeds have been created for hunting purposes for which olfactory performance is particularly important. In this article, we review the dog genetic characteristics that could make dogs so gifted with respect to olfactory ability. We also present some preliminary results on RNA profiling analyses of dog olfactory epithelium and show that the level of olfactory receptor expression per olfactory neuron might be higher in dogs than in rats.

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