As for humans identity and parentage tests by means of micro satellite analysis are also available for animals. With this molecular genetic technique, a tool is given to vets and breeders for a very safe identification of valuable breed animals. To this purpose, a unique and unmistakable DNA profile of an animal is generated, and it remains constant during the whole life of the animal, and even after its death.
So, on one hand a save identification is possible with this test, and on the other hand it can be clarified whether the father or mother of a given puppy could be considered as its true biological parents.
What does "DNA Profile" mean and how is it generated?
A DNA profile is based on testing high-variable DNA markers, which differ between individuals by their length (length polymorphism). We test at least 10 micro satellites routinely. In order to achieve the greatest possible test security, up to 12 DNA markers (micro satellites) are tested, per individual. To this purpose the DNA is isolated from the cells (normally from an EDTA blood sample). By means of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), the markers are copied a million fold. Subsequently, the length of the markers is determined by computer based analysis with an instrument called "Genetic Analyzer". The combination of the resulting marker lengths provides the individual DNA profile.
The DNA profile is unique, with an accuracy of more than 99.9%. For the identification of an animal, its DNA profile is generated and archived in our DNA database. We keep the profiles for 10 years, but can accommodate you if you wish to store the profile for a longer period of time. Compared to other marking methods, like the microchip or the tattoo-numbers, a DNA profile can not be manipulated. The DNA profile can be very useful. For example, if an animal is lost, the owner can access the registered DNA profile and compare the identity of the regained animal, to make sure it is the same.
The purpose of the parentage testing is to clarify whether supposed parents of a given animal are the true biological parents. In principle, an offspring gets 50% of its heritable information from the mother, and 50% from the father. Provided that the maternity is confirmed, all non-maternal markers in the DNA profile of the offspring should have been inherited by the father. If at least one marker in the DNA profile does not match, the paternity can be excluded. The more high-variable markers are examined, the more precisely parentage can be clarified. By the investigation of at least 10 markers, an exceptionally exact test is generated.
The test is performed out of EDTA whole blood (1 ml). For parentage testing, a blood sample of the animal as well as a blood sample of the supposed father and mother have to be sent. If a paternity is to be excluded, additionally blood samples of all the potential fathers should be sent, if possible. The results can be expected within about two weeks, after arrival of the sample(s) in our laboratory.