The Process Of Equine DNA Testing

DNA is the code of life. It is the blueprint that defines everything that breathes. It contains information on everything including nutrition and reproduction. DNA technology has completely revolutionized our world through its numerous applications. It helps establish parentage, determine phenotype in offspring and also predict the likelihood of developing a disease. Equine DNA testing is used to perform these tests on horses.

Equines may be tested for several reasons including to determine who their parents are. This information is required for breeding purposes. Determining pedigree information through traditional methods such as observation, manual identification and record keeping is inaccurate and yields the unintended offspring. As a result, scientific methods are preferred.

The aim of selective breeding is to come up with animals of superior performance or with certain phenotypic characteristics. Use of DNA ensures that this aim is met. The technology of genes may also be applied to determine if a horse possesses the risk of suffering from a certain disease. A genetic profile of the equine should reveal its set of genes from which an analyst can determine probability.

DNA can be tested in various genetic laboratories around the world. A simple search online reveals many companies. They have a set of sample collection procedures and guidelines that one may follow in order to extract the sample to be used for the test. After collection, the samples are sent to the laboratories through post service from anywhere around the world.

The cost of the test depends on the type of test to be carried out. Also, the results can be sent to you, or you can view them online as most of these laboratories have websites. Company representatives also call to explain the results and what they mean for the horse. The results are usually in a chart form and are easily explained to the horse owner.

The collection of samples for testing is not a difficult process. Most tests will require hair from the mane or the tail. Other samples may include cells collected from inside the horses cheek by use of a soft cheek brush. Some other tests may require blood as sample. In such cases, 3ml whole blood is collected using a syringe and stored in an EDTA Vacutainer and labeled. After labeling, it may then be sent to the lab through regular mail.

Upon arrival at the laboratory, the technicians extract DNA from the samples. The hair follicles, cheek cells and blood cells are all separated to yield the genetic material. Twelve specific gene markers, after extraction, are tested for production of a profile or genotype. The markers comprise of alleles that consists of two genes, one gene from either parent.

As humans, DNA technology has become a very important aspect of our lives. Now, we can use it to improve other species on Earth. For horses, the technology enables pure breeding. It is also possible to predict whether a particular horse is likely to give offspring with certain genetic conditions and disorders. More importantly, breeders can rely on this technology to establish true and accurate parentage of a horse before breeding it.

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