Figuring out which lambs are the offspring of which sheep can be guesswork for sheep producers. A new, low-cost DNA test to verify sheep parentage could soon help breeders worldwide to record accurate pedigrees and maximize the genetic potential of their flock.
A team of Australian and international researchers has identified an ideal set of genetic markers that enable highly accurate parentage testing across all breeds of sheep.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) project leader, James Kijas, Ph.D., said it is important for producers to know the pedigrees of their animals.
"This information helps them select the best rams for mating to make sure the best genes are passed on to the next generation," Kijas said. "We believe this test will help producers in the way they manage their animals to make full use of their genetic potential, while saving money on infrastructure and labor."
Funded by Meat and Livestock Australia, the test is being developed through the Cooperative Research Center for Sheep Industry Innovation, Sheep Genetics - a national genetic information and evaluation service, and CSIRO.
Read the entire article at www.csiro.au/en/Portals/Media/No-reason-to-be-sheepish-about-paternity.aspx.