It is certain that a trademark of the Siberian husky are their piercing blue eyes. Recently a study has been conducted and have shown that a duplication of a specific canine chromosome is responsible for the blue eyes. Researchers of the Embark Veterinary Inc. tested more than 6,000 dogs and discovered that the duplication of the canine chromosome 18 is correlated with the breed's distinctive eye color. The chromosome duplication occurs near the ALX4 gene, which serves as important in the development in eye color in mammals.
This study is thought of as the largest study to compare genetic profiles, and find the "tweak" that causes the blue eyes. According to Irizarry, of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Science, the mutation of the ALX4 gene in the husky breed results in decreased pigment production in their eyes. This lack of pigmentation causes the eyes to look blue. The mutation or duplication of the chromosome can also explain how tri- colored Australian shepherds can have blue eyes, which was unknown until that discovery. This study was done with so much information and has become the largest genomic studies ever conducted in dogs. I find it extremely interesting because with humans and even some dog breeds blue eyes are simply just a recessive trait, but now with the Siberian Husky it has been found its due to a genetic mutation. It has answered questions that people have wondered about for a long time, and can continue to lead researchers to more studies having to do with dog genomics.