National Geographic : 2012 Feb
Golden retriever Australian terrier Irish water spaniel Bearded collie Bichon frise LONG + CURLY Airedale CURLY + WIRE + FURNISHINGS LONG WIRE + FURNISHINGS LONG + FURNISHINGS CURLY + LONG + FURNISHINGS LONG COAT WIRE COAT AND/OR FURNISHINGS Gene FGF5 Gene RSPO2 CURLY COAT Gene KRT71 HAIR OF THE DOG Hundreds of genes interact to produce a physical trait in humans and most mammals. For dog traits, the magic number is usually three or fewer. The type of coat a dog wears depends on the three genes shown above. Mutations in these genes create a coat that's long, curly, wiry, or a combination. If none of the three genes are mutated, the dog will have the short, smooth coat of breeds like beagles and basset hounds---and the dog's ancestor, the gray wolf. Furnishings are extended beards and eyebrows, found in dogs with the mutated RSPO2 gene (orange). JOHN TOMANIO, NGM STAFF. DOG ILLUSTRATIONS: DAN WILLIAMS SOURCE: ADAM BOYKO, CORNELL UNIVERSITY A dog's coat is determined by these three genes. Eight other genes govern color.