Sheep test deadline looms | My Machinery
CASE Agriculture
Sheep test deadline looms

Time is running out for sheep breeders to participate in the Sheep CRC?’s Genomics Pilot Project, with a limited number of DNA parentage tests remaining for sale before the program closes at the end of April. Almost 17,000 tests ?covering parentage genes for all breeds as well as the horn/poll genes in Merinos have already been sold to sheep breeders from across Australia. A further 3000 50k DNA tests, providing full genotyping of the genetic traits present in sheep, were sold out within weeks of the program commencing in August last year. Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC) chief executive James Rowe said a limited number of the parentage tests were still available, but reminded producers that applications to participate in the project close on March 31 and that blood cards had to be submitted by April 30. ?”With a clear price differential in ram markets for polled Merinos, the $17 test has been particularly popular among Merino ram breeders seeking to accelerate the rate at which the horn gene is bred out of their flock, and to reassure their customers of the poll status of their animals,?” Prof. Rowe said. “?Many breeders have also found it useful to keep a stock of parentage tests on hand for use after lambing, particularly where syndicate mating systems have been used. “?After spotting an exceptional lamb in the flock, the parentage test allows breeders to accurately identify the parents of that animal and thereby gain a better insight into its genetic potential.?” Operating as part of the Federal Department of Innovation Industry Science and Research?s CRC program, the Sheep CRC is a collaboration of industry, government and the commercial sector. “?Breeders who order the $17 parentage test for Merinos will receive results for the Merino poll test at no additional cost, as the poll test forms part of the same set of SNPs that are used for determining parentage,”? Prof. Rowe said. ?”Results will be reported back to breeders within six weeks of receiving the completed blood cards.? “The parentage test can be used for ?full pedigree? ? that is linking a lamb to its ewe and sire. “For full pedigree results, blood samples must be taken from all progeny, ewes and rams in the breeding program in order to provide paternal and maternal parentage information. ?”However, for paternal parentage only, results could be derived from samples taken from all rams used in a flock as well as targeted progeny that need to be matched to the rams ? such as all of the ram lambs.”

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