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Development of fast and cost efficient methodology for bovine parental verification and identification with DNA markers

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New DNA profiling for compiling the cattle family tree

Genetic profiling in the animal breeding sector is essential for maximising the potential for healthy stock as well as quality dairy and meat production. Polish researchers have developed a new DNA test to make choice of pedigree more efficient.


Parental identification in cattle will pin down the pedigree of the animal or herd. Knowing the genetic status of an animal is important in its breeding capability and disease and growth capacity, for example. To date in Poland, determination of genetic evaluation has relied on blood testing but rate of parentage exclusion is only 84 %. To give a more accurate picture of parental assignment (P1), the Unicattle ID project developed a DNA test based on markers obtained in a hair bulb extract. The overall task involved the efficient extraction of DNA from the bulb, the development of a set of microsatellite markers and a methodology for pedigree verification. Tests have proved that the project team developed a reliable efficient protocol. Good quality DNA was extracted from the hair bulb and a trial run with 47 animals with their sires proved successful. In a simulated breeding programme, the researchers suggested that accurate pedigree recording and checking of the improved pedigree will improve genetic trend. %lUnicattle ID has provided the Polish cattle industry with a tool to use for animal breeding that is a vast improvement on previous resources. In the context of the EU, animal breeding and agriculture are important components of the market, particularly in the ecologically friendly sector.

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