The Benefits of DNA Testing
DNA testing can save you time and money on manual recording while still allowing you to capture productivity improvements through genetic gain that come from recording accurate pedigrees.
Even with the range of DNA based technologies around, parentage testing is still the main use of DNA technology for breeders because the accurate recording of pedigrees is essential for many aspects of a successful breeding program. For example:
- Breeding values rely on accurate parentage of not just the animal in question but also animals related to it
- We can’t tag fish or shellfish when they are young and to ensure progeny from different parents are assessed together you need some way of identifying them later on without having already tagged them
- Mis-mothering is common in a number of species and you can’t easily tell which calf came from which cow without closely observing them 24/7
- It is important to be able to identify sires that are not doing the job in a multi sire mating situation
- Allows breeders to achieve premium sales prices for elite animals by ensuring that the pedigree is correct
DNA parentage testing is common in commercial farming situations too. It is used extensively in dairy cattle and sheep farming where industry progeny testing and breeding values are well established. It is a valuable tool to identify which dams & sires are turning out the highest producing progeny which can aid decision making to improve genetic gain.
DNA testing for lethal genes and production traits allows you to quickly remove animals with genetic abnormalities or target breeding for specific traits of interest.