Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Improving Genetic Predictions in Dairy Animals Using Phenotypic and Genomic Information

Location: Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory

Title: A dairy calf DNA biobank for the discovery of new recessive genetic disorders

item Cole, John

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/8/2017
Publication Date: 7/8/2017
Citation: Cole, J.B. 2017. A dairy calf DNA biobank for the discovery of new recessive genetic disorders. Journal of Animal Science. 95(Suppl. 4):83(abstr. 169).

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: This abstract describes the establishment of a new DNA biobank to support the discovery of new recessive genetic disorders in the U.S. dairy cattle population. High-density single nucleotide polymorphism genotypes have recently been used to identify a number of novel recessive mutations that adversely affect fertility in dairy cattle, but the lack of standardized procedures for collecting DNA samples and supporting information for those projects underscores the need for a standardized process. The new Dairy Calf DNA BioBank in Beltsville, MD, is a repository for the collection and storage of samples. It complements the automated process of searching for new haplotypes that is part of the national dairy genetic evaluation system. The goal is to collect whole blood from calves that are born dead or that die shortly after birth, particularly if the calf appears to suffer from a congenital defect, as well as DNA from its dam and a sibling in the herd. Kits that include all sampling materials, return shipping, a material transfer agreement, and a protocol for sample collection are shipped upon receipt of a request through the website. DNA providers are also able to provide substantial descriptive information about the calves for which they’re providing blood. When the samples are received in Beltsville the DNA is extracted and stored pending future analysis. The material transfer agreement ensures that a clear chain of permissions is available for each sample. If a pattern emerges to suggest that there is a new recessive genetic disorder within a family the DNA is available for sequencing and causal variant discovery. Standardized protocols for DNA extraction and whole-genome sequencing will help ensure that data are of high quality. Information on carrier status for new recessives will be distributed through the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (Bowie, MD). The URL for the BioBank website is:

Last Modified: 09/25/2017
Footer Content Back to Top of Page