The Science and Technology behind our Tests

Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) and Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) in Dog DNA Testing

The Cutting-Edge of Canine Genetics

At ProsperK9, we employ the latest advancements in genetic testing to provide the most comprehensive insights into your dog's DNA. Two of these advanced techniques are Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) and Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS). But how do these methods differ from traditional microarray-based tests? Let’s explore.

Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS)


Next-Generation Sequencing represents a leap forward in genetic analysis. Unlike traditional methods, NGS can sequence millions of small fragments of DNA in parallel. This high-throughput approach allows us to examine a dog's entire genetic makeup more quickly and in greater detail than ever before.

Advantages of NGS:

  1. Comprehensive Analysis: NGS analyzes a broader range of genetic variations, providing a more complete picture of your dog's DNA.
  2. Higher Resolution: It detects smaller genetic changes, which can be crucial for understanding specific health risks and traits.
  3. Speed and Efficiency: NGS can process multiple samples simultaneously, offering faster results without compromising accuracy.

Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS)

Whole Genome Sequencing takes NGS a step further by sequencing the entire genome of your dog. This method doesn't just look at specific markers or genes; it examines the complete DNA sequence, providing an unparalleled depth of genetic insight.

Benefits of WGS:

  1. Maximal Coverage: WGS covers every part of the genome, including regions that might be missed by other methods.
  2. Potential for New Discoveries: By analyzing the entire genome, WGS can uncover genetic information that’s yet to be understood or linked to specific traits and health conditions.
  3. Future-Proof: Once your dog's genome is sequenced, it can be re-analyzed as new genetic discoveries are made, without the need for re-sampling.

How Do These Differ from Microarrays?

Microarray technology, traditionally used in dog DNA tests, involves examining specific pre-determined markers in the genome. It's like looking at specific landmarks rather than exploring the whole landscape.

Key Differences:

  1. Scope of Analysis: Microarrays analyze fewer genetic markers, providing less comprehensive data compared to NGS and WGS.
  2. Specificity: Microarrays are limited to known genetic markers, whereas NGS and WGS can uncover new genetic variations.
  3. Flexibility: NGS and WGS offer a more detailed and flexible approach, adaptable to new genetic research findings.

Why This Matters for Your Dog

By choosing ProsperK9’s advanced NGS or WGS-based dog DNA test, you’re not just getting a snapshot of your dog's genetic health; you're getting a detailed map that guides you through their wellness and care, now and in the future.


Bisulfite Sequencing: Estimating Your Dog's Age Through DNA Methylation

Unveiling the Secrets of Canine Aging

At ProsperK9, we're not just committed to identifying what makes your dog unique; we're also pioneering new ways to understand their aging process. One of the most exciting tools in our arsenal is bisulfite sequencing, a revolutionary approach that allows us to estimate the age of your dog with remarkable accuracy.

What is Bisulfite Sequencing?

Bisulfite sequencing is a specialized form of DNA analysis focused on DNA methylation, a biochemical process where methyl groups are added to the DNA molecule. Methylation doesn't change the DNA sequence but can affect gene activity and expression. Importantly, the pattern of methylation changes predictably as a dog ages, serving as a molecular clock.


How Bisulfite Sequencing Works:

  1. DNA Modification: We treat your dog’s DNA with bisulfite, which converts unmethylated cytosine (one of the DNA bases) into uracil, while leaving methylated cytosine unchanged.
  2. Sequencing and Analysis: Next, we sequence this modified DNA. By comparing the treated DNA to its original sequence, we can pinpoint where methylation has occurred.
  3. Age Estimation: Using established models, we analyze these methylation patterns to estimate the biological age of your dog. This age may differ from their chronological age, providing insights into their health and wellness.

Why is Estimating a Dog's Biological Age Important?

Understanding your dog’s biological age is about more than curiosity. It offers critical insights into their health and potential age-related risks.

Benefits of Knowing Your Dog’s Biological Age:

  1. Tailored Healthcare: It can inform more personalized healthcare and diet plans, tailored to their biological age rather than just their chronological age.
  2. Early Detection of Age-Related Issues: Identifying discrepancies between biological and chronological age can be a key to early detection of age-related health issues.
  3. Long-term Wellness Monitoring: Regular bisulfite sequencing tests can help monitor how your dog is aging, enabling proactive wellness strategies.

Bisulfite Sequencing vs. Traditional Age Estimation

Traditional age estimation in dogs is often based on physical attributes and breed characteristics. While useful, this approach doesn’t consider individual genetic and epigenetic factors that influence aging. Bisulfite sequencing offers a more precise, scientifically grounded method to understand your dog's aging process at the molecular level.

Embrace a Deeper Understanding of Your Dog's Life Journey

With ProsperK9’s advanced bisulfite sequencing test, you're not just discovering your dog's age; you're unlocking the secrets to their long-term health and vitality. It's a step towards more informed, personalized care that celebrates every stage of your dog's life.


Shotgun Sequencing for Dog oral Microbiomes

What is the Oral Microbiome?

The oral microbiome refers to the community of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa, residing in the oral cavity. These microorganisms play a crucial role in maintaining oral health and can also impact the overall health of dogs.

The Importance of Understanding the Oral Microbiome in Dogs

  1. Disease Prevention: Certain oral microbes can lead to dental diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. Early detection can prevent these conditions.
  2. Overall Health Insights: The oral microbiome is linked to systemic health issues, including heart and kidney diseases.
  3. Diet and Nutrition: The oral microbiome can reflect dietary habits and nutritional deficiencies.

What is Shotgun Sequencing?

Shotgun sequencing is a cutting-edge method used to analyze DNA samples. Unlike traditional sequencing that targets specific DNA regions, shotgun sequencing randomly breaks up DNA into numerous small fragments and sequences them. This approach offers a comprehensive view of all genetic material present in a sample, including the diverse species in the oral microbiome.

The Process of Dog Oral Microbiome Testing Using Shotgun Sequencing

  1. Sample Collection: A swab from the dog's oral cavity is collected.
  2. DNA Extraction: DNA is extracted from the collected sample.
  3. Library Preparation: The DNA is then prepared for sequencing by fragmenting it into smaller pieces.
  4. Sequencing: These fragments are sequenced using high-throughput sequencing technology.
  5. Data Analysis: Bioinformatics tools analyze the sequence data to identify and quantify the microbial species present.

Benefits of Shotgun Sequencing in Oral Microbiome Analysis

  • Comprehensive Analysis: It provides a complete overview of all microorganisms, not just the ones known or suspected to be present.
  • High Resolution: It can detect even low-abundance species, offering a more detailed microbial profile.
  • Functional Insights: Beyond identifying species, it can also reveal information about microbial functions and potential impacts on health.

Applications in Veterinary Care

  • Disease Diagnosis and Management: Helps in diagnosing oral diseases and tailoring treatment plans.
  • Research: Aids in research related to canine oral health and disease prevention.
  • Personalized Care: Supports the development of personalized nutrition and healthcare plans for dogs based on their unique microbiome.