There are 3 canids besides the dog (Canis familiaris): the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) and Chinese raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides procyonoides), which have been extensively studied with the use of cytogenetic and molecular genetics techniques. These 3 species are considered as farm fur-bearing animals. In addition, they are also useful models in comparative genomic studies of the canids. In this review genome organization, karyotype evolution, comparative marker maps, DNA polymorphism and similarity of selected gene sequences of the 3 farm species are discussed in relation to the dog. Also the nature and variability of the B chromosomes, present in the red fox and the Chinese raccoon dog, were considered. These comparative analyses showed that among the studied canids the Chinese raccoon dog is phylogenetically the closest species to the dog. On the other hand, the most advanced linkage and cytogenetic marker maps of the red fox genome facilitate genome scanning studies with the aim to search for chromosome locations of QTL regions for behavior and production traits.

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