Why do bulldogs and pugs flat muzzle: scientists have found an explanation

In dogs, the brachycephalic short and flattened muzzle was the result of breeding, but until now it was not known what the genetic characteristics of animals.

Scientists have figured out which DNA mutation has led to such peculiarities of the dog breed pug, budilov and similar. Their research, they published in the journal Current Biology.

The researchers analyzed DNA samples taken from 374 domestic dogs of different breeds. 3D images of the skulls of dogs, obtained by a computer tomography, allowed us to make accurate measurements.

Comparing the measurement results with the obtained genetic information, the researchers determined which DNA variants are associated with features of the shape of the skull. It turned out, one of the options violated the SMOC2 gene activity responsible for the length of the muzzle. The more mutations were in the gene, the flatter was the face.

The authors expect that their results will be useful both in veterinary and in medicine as a whole – the brachycephalic sometimes manifested in people.