Parentage testing/Verification of Identity
As for humans, DNA analysis enables parentage testing and verification of an animal’s identity as well. For that purpose, microsatellite analysis is a commonly used technique. This internationally standardised method allows for verification of parentage or identity of breeding animals at any time. The obtained DNA profile is unique, tamper-proof and unalterable throughout an animal’s life. Even post mortem, such a profile can be established from different tissues or from animal products such as meat or milk.
At present we offer the verification of parentage and identity in horses, cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and dogs.
Parentage testing determines whether the animal’s putative parents can be considered as its genetic parents. In this process the DNA profile of the offspring is compared to those of the presumed parents. Since each parent contributes 50% to an offspring’s genetic information, each allelic variant of an offspring must be detected in either father’s or mother’s profile. Likewise, presumable parentage of a single parent can be tested (e.g. if the second parent is not in doubt or if no DNA profile is available) or multiple potential parents can be included in the analysis.
In addition to parentage verification, DNA profiles play an important role in the identification of animals.
DNA profiles enable unambiguous identification of an animal at any time and therefore are essential in fields of traceability of food and/or animal as well as in the context of judicial cases or insurance claims.
Congenital night blindness (Congenital Stationary Night Blindness) is a hereditary eye disease found in Briards (Berger de Brie) with a mutation in the RPE65 gene identified as underlying cause.
Due to its autosomal recessive inheritance only dogs carrying two copies of the mutated RPE65 gene are affected while carriers of this disorder (animals carrying one copy of the mutation) remain clinically normal. Since ophthalmic examination alone is unable to distinguish carriers from non-carriers, genetic testing is needed for taking an animal’s PRE65 status into consideration for breeding purposes.