Characterisation of the main drivers of intra- and inter- breed variability in the plasma metabolome of dogs

Amanda Lloyd, Manfred Beckmann, Kathleen Tailliart, Wendy Y. Brown, John Draper, David Allaway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Downloads (Pure)


Dog breeds are a consequence of artificial selection for specific attributes. These closed genetic populations have metabolic and physiological characteristics that may be revealed by metabolomic analysis.

To identify and characterise the drivers of metabolic differences in the fasted plasma metabolome and then determine metabolites differentiating breeds.

Fasted plasma samples were collected from dogs maintained under two environmental conditions (controlled and client-owned at home). The former (n = 33) consisted of three breeds (Labrador Retriever, Cocker Spaniel and Miniature Schnauzer) fed a single diet batch, the latter (n = 96), client-owned dogs consisted of 9 breeds (Beagle, Chihuahua, Cocker Spaniel, Dachshund, Golden Retriever, Greyhound, German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever and Maltese) consuming various diets under differing feeding regimens. Triplicate samples were taken from Beagle (n = 10) and Labrador Retriever (n = 9) over 3 months. Non-targeted metabolite fingerprinting was performed using flow infusion electrospray-ionization mass spectrometry which was coupled with multivariate data analysis. Metadata factors including age, gender, sexual status, weight, diet and breed were investigated.

Breed differences were identified in the plasma metabolome of dogs housed in a controlled environment. Triplicate samples from two breeds identified intra-individual variability, yet breed separation was still observed. The main drivers of variance in dogs maintained in the home environment were associated with breed and gender. Furthermore, metabolite signals were identified that discriminated between Labrador Retriever and Cocker Spaniels in both environments.

Metabolite fingerprinting of plasma samples can be used to investigate breed differences in client-owned dogs, despite added variance of diet, sexual status and environment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number72
Issue number4
Early online date08 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2016


  • metabolomics
  • plasma
  • metabolite fingerprinting
  • multivariate data analysis
  • intra-breed variability
  • inter-breed variability


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterisation of the main drivers of intra- and inter- breed variability in the plasma metabolome of dogs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this