Repository Detail Information

To facilitate health research on genetic diseases affecting Bernese Mountain Dogs, the Berner-Garde Foundation created a repository of DNA and tumor tissue that would augment the pedigree and medical information stored in the Berner-Garde Database. This gives researchers a reliable source of ready information and DNA, eliminating the costly labor and time intensive steps of creating individual infrastructures to gather this information. The goal became a reality in the fall of 2006 when the Berner-Garde Foundation (BGF) and Michigan State University (MSU), with support from the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America (BMDCA) signed a contract to establish The Bernese Mountain Dog DNA and Tumor Tissue Repository to be housed at Michigan State University.

When the project started, we knew it would be a number of years before we could accumulate enough DNA to be useful. The Bernese Mountain Dog community again exceeded all expectations in supporting this effort. We have hosted organized DNA blood draws clinics at most BMDCA National Specialties and numerous regional BMD clubs have also conducted local collections of blood samples. These, along with individual submissions by owners have resulted in the Repository now having DNA or tumor tissue from nearly 4,000 Bernese Mountain Dogs. These samples now require two large freezers for storage at minus 80 degrees celsius.

The blood DNA and frozen tumor tissue have now been used in a number of published studies that you can see here.

How Can I Help?

The most important thing you can do to is to make sure all your dog's information is up-to-date in the database. This especially includes detailed health information including date and cause of death. We know that those are emotional moments for you so no need to rush, just make sure you do follow up. These are the things that will help keep BMD health research moving forward.