Angus Australia introduced DNA testing and paternity verification in 2002, as a way to increase the accuracy and quality of pedigree information for animals registered in the various Angus Australia registers. This DNA testing utilised microsatellite technology (MIPs) as it was the only accurate and cost effective parent verification technology available at the time. Between 2002 and 2012, microsatellite parent verification technology was successfully used throughout seed stock Angus herds in Australia.
Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in conjunction with Genomic Technology have recently emerged as the dominant DNA technology of the future. As a result, it was decided at the November 2011 Angus Board meeting that Angus Australia would start to migrate from MIPs to SNPs for all Angus DNA testing and parent verification.
One of the main issues faced during this progression, is that the animal and its parent/s must be tested using the same DNA technology in order to Parent verify the progeny. Angus Australia, in conjunction with various semen suppliers hit the ground running and obtained SNP profiles for numerous prominent sires to assist members during this transition period. Although large cross sections of prominent sires in the Angus population were tested there are still animals who require an upgrade (change from MIPs to SNPs). Therefore; members may have some bulls and ET donor dams that have to be retested on SNPs to allow future progeny to be parent verified.
Please see below figure.
PARENT VERIFICATION COMPARISON
After DNA results are returned to Angus Australia, we now have the capability to run SNP parent verifications in house. The SNP parentage verification algorithm makes it much easier to verify or exclude parent/progeny combinations and investigate potential concerns.
A calf should receive one SNP from its sire and one SNP from its dam. The first example in the table below shows a case where the calf did not receive an “A” from the nominated sire. In the second example the calf received a “B” from the nominated sire and dam.
If the calf is for example “BB” and the sire is “AA”, then the calf has not received an “A” from that particular sire and it is deemed incompatible and the parentage gets excluded on that particular SNP marker. If there are enough unique SNPs that have excluded, the calf will not qualify to the provided sire. If this occurs we will request further possible sires to be provided in order to find the correct sire of the calf.
To increase the accuracy and quality of pedigree information, Angus Australia implemented the following DNA guidelines for the registration of animals in the HBR, APR & MBR registers.
6.41 – It shall be a requirement for the registration of all HBR, APR & MBR calves that the sire has a DNA profile recorded with the society. If HBR or APR and born after 31/12/2002, the sire shall be DNA paternity verified. If MBR and born after 31/12/2014 the sire shall be DNA paternity verified.
6.42 – All donor dams shall have a DNA profile recorded with the society before their embryo transfer calves can be registered.
6.44 – An application for registration of an imported overseas animal must include a sample (semen or hair) for DNA testing at a Society approved laboratory.
6.45 – Sire and dams of imported embryos will need a DNA parentage profile issued by the overseas registering authority.