What does it mean to add genes?

This is a lightly edited version of my original 2005 BBR post. It's copyright Lisa Corell Auerbach, 2005 and has been used in some of my other copyrighted materials - used here with permission. Main change is I added a comment and redacted some people and kennel names as I haven't had a chance to ask if it's ok to use them here, and I don't like to surprise people. If you're on the BBR list, the unredacted post is in the archives circa 2005.

"A while back, I did a pedigree analysis of sample domestic Basenjis, with an eye to including samples from "relatively unrelated" lines. I was interested in finding out why "full" COI's are so high for this breed. For example, the COI on my Pete - who had no ancestors doubled in the first 3 generations - was over .3, which is greater than breeding a sire to his daughter. I found extremely high COI's on a signficant percentage of Basenjis I looked at, which piqued my interest in looking at Basenji pedigree structure.

The dogs I reviewed included successful sires and Honor Roll Stud Dogs (including Ch. JuJu's Pistol Pete, Ch. Kazor's Deerstalker, Ch. Akuaba's Tornado, Ch. Reveille Boutonniere, Ch. Berimo's Roustabout, etc.), Datar, and dogs from two domestic lines frequently identified as having been kept fairly distinct for a long time.

About half were dogs I'd used or that had a connection to my dogs, the rest were dogs I thought would be relatively unrelated.

The results of this sample were as follows:

1. There were basically eight significant founders - Bongo, Zig, Bereke, Kindu, Kasenyi, and to a lesser degree, Fula, Bokoto, and Wau.

Percentages of Bongo ranged from 24.11% to 16.136%.

Percentages of Zig ranged from 21.793% to 15.36%.

Percentages of Bereke ranged from 18.654% to 12.504%

Percentages of Kindu ranged from 13.88% to 5.943%

Percentages of Kasenyi ranged from 13.863% to 5.827%

Percentages of Fula ranged from 15.234% to 0.322%

Percentages of Bokoto ranged from 7.681% to 5.156%

Percentages of Wau ranged from 9.195% to 2.393%

No other foundation dog contributed as much as 2% to any dog I analyzed.

Of the foundation dogs with less than two percent contribution, three founders, Bungwa (1.328%-1.922%), Bakuma (0.43%-1.93%), and Bashele (0.681%-0.909%),
contributed between 0.43% to 1.93% of ancestry. Kiki of Cryon contributed 0% to 4 dogs reviewed, and 0.020% to 0.415% to the rest. Mbinza contributed 0% to five
dogs reviewed, and 0.096% to 0.232% to the rest.

No other foundation ancestor was identified that contributed as much as one tenth of one percent by ancestry to any of the dogs reviewed.

Conclusion - the US Basenji gene pool has approximately eight significant foundation

Virtually all of Kindu and Kasenyi's descent comes through a single individual, Kingolo - percent descent ranging from 10.825% to 25.199%. Whether to argue that there are 7 founders (and use Kingolo instead of Kindu and Kasenyi), I leave up to you.

2. Domestic Basenjis also have significant bottlenecks other than original ancestors. The first appears to have occurred in which "of the Congo" (OTC) dogs bred on the most. Some samples -

Percentages of Kinga of the Congo ranged from 29.063% to 43.635%

Percentages of Piccolo of the Congo ranged from 12.481% to 15.613%

Percentages of Orange Fizz of the Congo ranged from 13.673% to 20.303%

Percentages of Brown Trout of the Congo ranged from 15.515% to 23.002%

And so on. I did eleven OTC dogs, that ranged from about 6% to over 43% of total ancestry of modern dogs.

Conclusion - Basenjis in the US show a second significant genetic bottleneck through important OTC dogs. [Additional comment – this appears to be related to the WWII bottleneck – see VTW’s “Coincidences” article reprinted in The Basenji recently.]

3. American dogs have a third significant bottleneck in the 1960's and 1970's. For American dogs, which excludes Datar, with the exception of the two kennels picked specifically because they had avoided popular sires of that era, percentages were as follows:

Percentages of Ch. Reveille Recruit ranged from 13.28% to 27.539%

Percentages of Ch. Reveille Re-Up ranged from 12.988% to 22.656%

Percentages of Ch. Khajah's Gay Flambeau of Ed-Jo ranged from 11.67% to 26.172%

Conclusion - Basenjis in the US had a third significant genetic bottleneck in the 1960's and 1970's.

Itzyu, reading this, we really need the new genes we can get to help our breed.


Itzyu, reading this, we really need the new genes we can get to help our breed.

However, are we adding "genes" for the sake of adding "genes"? Or are we really bring in new "Basenji Stock"? Accepting dogs for the sake of adding dogs to the gene pool without regard to where they come from, what others in the area look like, not taking into account the geographic region, IMO is just the wrong way to approach it.

The point of the discusion from my perspective is demonstrating the actual benefits we are trying to achieve by introducing "new genes" and identifying what success looks like in the end to the breed as a whole. If the goal at the end is to increase diversity within the breed, how do we accomplish that on the larger scale versus just the local scale so that it is more meaningful?

Increasing diversity of the breed is a lofty goal but if there is not a shared vision (or big picture) on how to get there there then the liklihood of success is much lower. This is particularly the case since individual breeders make decisions on what they breed (some may be working together as previously mentioned). It doesn't help much if we work to introduce more diversity/variabilty into the breed and then end up breeding it back to cookie cutter dogs again. And it also doesn't help if the membership as a whole does not agree on what appropriate variability within breed type is. That is the repeated message I am hearing in these conversations around how people may be viewing Native Stock through the lens of a "show quality" test.

There may be educational components that are needed so that the same "mistakes" are not repeated and everyone is on the same page with what is trying to be accomplished. The clock is ticking and we can't go back to the Congo indefinitely.

IMO, I believe that it is a preception that many think that these dogs are being viewed as "show quality" and that is not the case. At least it is not with me. Just because I show dogs, doesn't mean that I can't see the value of many of the imports and what they have to offer the breed. Note again that I co-own a 1/2 Af with lvoss that I believe has much to offer the breed. That said however, I do want to see Basenji Type, not just dogs that have some Basenji Characteristics. And I would like to know the geographic area were they come from and what the majority of dogs from that area look like. How remote is it? How easy is it to have outside influence to the k-9 population?

No - I meant dogs which are clearly not Basenji - I'm well aware of the so called faults that the UK 'originals' possessed so I definitely don't mean that!.

Bryan Gregory is here under Jumoke. He was one of the ones who when over a year ago. He can answer for the area.

I would just like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread, in particular JoT and Itzyu, with their incredible knowledge of the breed, the N.S. etc, etc.

For someone who is new to the breed, this is, IMHO the most informative thread Ive read, since Ive joined, by a country mile :)… 'Stuck' in Australia, we dont have the luxury of having access to these N.S. dogs, so to be part of this forum, and to be able to learn more than whats available on the Internet etc, is absolutely mind blowing. I can only hope this thread can continue forever :D...


'Stuck' in Australia, we dont have the luxury of having access to these N.S. dogs…..."

A 100% Avongara bitch was exported by Bev Bland into Australia not to long ago- the first; she recently had the first half African litter born down under as well. Long time Australian breeder Bev Reid, breeder/owner of the first Tracking Champion basenji in Australia and we believe the world, recently went to Africa with Jon and Mike, et al. If I am not mistaken one of the native pups brought back will make it's way to her (and to Australia) once it goes through the necessary steps, then quarantine. There have also been a few low (~1/4) percent blends exported to Australia as well.

I do agree to the kudos to all contributors, especially LisaCA (Itzyu); her posts in particular seemed to balance out the discussion. Thanks too, for her sharing her copyrighted material on the COI's within the original founders, gives this reader at least, food for thought, if not a more accurate picture of where we are and where we might need to go as a breed.

Thank you to Linda for putting me in contact with the lovely owners of this girl… Im really looking forward to learning more about her etc, etc :)...

Dr Jo and the others, i wanna translate and repost on the Basenji Mexico group, with the link to these original post.. i hope dont mind?
Not the whole theread of course.. just some parts when Dr Jo explains the native stock…

Maca, you need to wait for anyone you are translating to reply before you translate their posts (though I can't imagine anyone minding). OR you can give the general idea and have them come here.

@lvoss So I am rereading this thread and the light went on. So simply I don't even know why I kept missing it.
If you are breeding for traits, you do loose genes. or at least those being expressed. Sometimes I need to stop thinking and let things be actually understood.

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