BPoD has moved!

BPoD has recently changed our domain name - we can now be found at bpod.org.uk

Please update your bookmarks!

Now in our 12th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Search the archive of over 4000 images

Ol' Blue Eyes

Gene for blue eyes in dogs identified expanding our understanding of mammalian eye development

30 October 2018

Ol' Blue Eyes

Increased availability of DNA testing isn’t just helping humankind, it’s also shedding light on the genetic secrets of our canine best friends. A company carrying out consumer DNA testing on more than 6,000 dogs has discovered the genetic variation responsible for giving Siberian Huskies their piercing blue eyes. Intriguingly, the Husky’s blue peepers aren’t due to genetic alterations that have been found in other blue-eyed breeds. Instead, they’re caused by a small duplicated section of DNA close to a gene called ALX4, which plays an important role in eye development in many mammalian species. Carrying just one copy of the duplicated version is enough to cause completely blue eyes or heterochromia (a blue and a brown eye). Although you don’t need a gene test to reveal what colour your pup’s eyes are, the discovery helps to explain the underlying processes of eye development in dogs and maybe their owners as well.

Written by Kat Arney

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

Follow on Tumblr

Follow on Instagram

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.