Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Development of a Commercially-Available Dna-Based Test for Parentage, Animal Identification, and Disease Traceback in U.S. Sheep

Location: Genetics, Breeding, & Animal Health

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Develop an efficient high-throughput genotyping test for accurately determining parentage, animal identification, and disease traceback in U.S. sheep populations. The purpose is to provide a robust commercially available test for use by sheep producers, regulatory agencies, and researchers. Assay information and design features will be made publicly available by either scientific publication or public internet sites.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Assays for approximately 100 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) will be designed from USMARC ovine DNA sequence information and publicly available information from more than 3000 sheep from 74 breeds around the world. Novel SNP assays will be developed for a matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization--time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) platform. The accuracy, reproducibility, and power of these SNPs will be evaluated with USMARC reference DNA samples that have been previously sequenced to determine their genotypes.


3.Progress Report:

Development of a commercially-available DNA-based test for parentage, animal identification, and disease traceback in U.S. sheep. DNA-based parentage determination accelerates genetic improvement in sheep by improving pedigree accuracy in matings where multiple sires are possible. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) DNA markers can be ideal for determining parentage and they also provide unique molecular identifiers for tracing sheep products to their source. In collaboration with a commercial partner, an efficient high-throughput genetic test was developed for accurately determining parentage, animal identification and disease traceback in U.S. sheep populations.

This year, a test with 109 SNPs was successfully used to identify all parents in 95 families each having a sire, dam, and twin lambs. Family relationships were successfully identified by a blinded test.


Last Modified: 12/22/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page