DNA Testing

 Maintaining High Standards

DNA

The Salers Association of Canada has adopted an aggressive and pro-active approach in genetic testing requirements for registration of Salers cattle.  All walking bulls, including those used in Optimizer Program, utilized in purebred operations with resultant progeny to be recorded or registered are required to have DNA identity on file with the Salers Association of Canada.  All Salers sires must have a clean B-Mann status to register their progeny.  All embryo donor females and AI sires must have DNA on file and a clean B-Mann status to register their progeny.

Canadian Salers full-blood status is maintained through DNA parentage verification requirements before being registered.  Embryo transplant calves must also be parentage verified prior to registration.

In almost any genetic population genetic defects show up from time to time.  It is prudent to be aware of the possibility and to periodically test to identify carriers of the defective gene.  Beta-Mannosidosis is the only genetic defect identified in the Salers breed, and since 1995 there has been a ‘gold standard’ test available for breeders to use.  Michigan State University’s Department of Micro & Molecular Genetics, under the direction of Dr. Karen Friderici PhD, is the sole authorized test lab.
Beta-Mannosidosis test results are provided to the owners, submitting veterinarian and the Breed Association.

DNA Screening Test – Beta – Mannosidosis form –  Beta-Mannosidosis Form

Salers Association of Canada is using Delta Genomics in Edmonton, AB for DNA testing.

Hair Sample Instructions

  • Collect hair from the tip of the tail (switch).  The root ends contain the DNA.  Samples are to be pulled not clipped.
  • Clean the tail switch to remove foreign material.  Comb or brush the tail to remove dead hair.  If needed, wash clean and rinse with water.  Wait for tail to be completely dry.  Sample must be free of urine or manure – dirty samples will not be processed – contamination will make the sample unfit for testing.
  • Wrap approximately 5 strands of hair around a finger, about 2 inches away from the skin, and give a sharp pull.  Inspect the hair to ensure that the follicles are attached.  Hair strands without follicles do not contain DNA and cannot be tested.
  • Repeat until you have obtained 20 hair roots.
  • Place all of the hair roots at one end, with the long strands pointing straight down.  Secure the hairs together with adhesive tape wrapped approximately 1 inch from the follicles.  Place the sample in the labeled envelope and immediately seal to minimize contamination.  Hair from only one animal is to be placed in each envelope.
  • If doing more than one animal, WASH HANDS before starting on next animal or use a clean pair of surgical gloves.  This will reduce cross-contamination of DNA samples.  Repeat the collection steps for each animal.

Blood or Semen Sample Instructions:

  • Samples may be submitted without consideration of the animal’s age or gender.  Information about the Sire and Dam is appreciated.
  • Whole blood (EDTA anticoagulant – “purple topped tube”), 2-3 ml is adequate (tube should be at least half full).
  • A new needle must be used for each sample.
  • Draw site and needle size are not important.
  • Blood samples should be sent in a thick, Styrofoam blood mailer or container to prevent breakage and/or spillage.
  • Blood sample should be received within seven (7) days of collection and sent by 1st class mail.
  • For semen analysis, one straw or ampule is adequate.
  • Semen samples should be sent by overnight mail in a padded envelope.
  • Blood and semen samples can be refrigerated, but must not be frozen.
  • Blood and semen samples must be accompanied by a copy of the current Breed Association Import Permit (available from the Association office).