Abstract: Fungi are established agents of disease in dogs and are thought to exacerbate inflammatory and allergic diseases such as atopic dermatitis (environmental allergies). In order to fully understand the role of fungi in these diseases we must first have a comprehensive picture of the commensal fungi living on the skin of dogs and then begin to decipher how these communities change when disease is present. DNA sequencing technologies can provide a more accurate status of commensal fungi residing on canine skin than what has been previously shown with traditional culture based methods. Dr. Suchodolski proposes to use next-generation DNA sequencing to investigate the fungal microbiome, or mycobiome, of healthy canine skin. They will then compare the mycobiome of healthy canine skin to that of dogs with allergic skin disease. This will provide insight into the involvement of fungi in atopic dermatitis as well as reveal fungal genera that may serve as opportunistic pathogens and potential targets for therapeutics in this chronic skin disease that affects both the canine pets who suffer from severe pruritus (itch) and their owners who must provide long-term and costly care.