Nowadays, many DNA testing companies perform DNA testing for the pets which can help in determining a number of things from paternity to genetic health of the animal in question. With the help of this technology, you can have a very clear overview of animal’s parentage, genetic predispositions to illnesses for that specific breed, breeding co-efficient levels, and other genetic information about your pet.
1. DNA testing
Testing of DNA samples gives a very clear picture for your pets’ health. Highly useful genetic information is provided to the owner or animal breeder. The various type of tests are discussed below:
a. Canine DNA testing. This test is mostly used for veterinarians and dog breeders. It is performed by taking the samples from canine by using the DNA sample collection kit. The kit contains oral swabs. To collect samples you will need to hold the dogs head firmly in your hands and swab the inside of its cheek. Do not worry about excessive salivation as this is absolutely normal and will not in any way affect the result of the test. This kit can be used for parentage testing, genetic diseases and DNA profiling.
b. Avian DNA testing. This test is done for bird sexing needs. The samples used for this test are either single blood drop or freshly plucked feathers. Again, this test is usually used by people who wish to breed birds and need to know their gender.
c. PKD DNA testing. This kind of testing is for cats to find out autosomal dominant disorders among them. This disease can lead to kidney failure and sometimes result in death. With the help of feline DNA sampling kit, anyone can perform this test in home on cats of any age. Other feline tests are available which can tell you the dominant genes that code for coat colour- again this latter example is indeed useful to pet breeders who wish to aim their breeding at producing cats with more desirable coat colours.
d. Equine DNA testing. This test is performed for horses. DNA samples for this test can be taken from the mane hairs of horses. This test is done to ensure the genetic health of the horses.
2. Genetic fingerprinting
The genetic fingerprinting is used to differentiate sequences of DNA found from the samples and includes the following.
a. Restriction fragment length polymorphism. This type is used by using restriction enzymes to break the DNA strands. The parts of DNA are separated by the use of gel electrophoresis. Later, the DNA is analyzed by using radioactive probe. The only disadvantage is that it requires a large sample of DNA and very slow process.This type of DNA sequencing is very rarely used.
b. Polymerase chain reaction. This method is performed by using high temperature for specific parts of DNA and thermo-stable polymerase enzymes with labeled DNA primers. This type of genetic amplification procedure has many advantages- it is quicker and cheaper to begin with. Moreover, it enables scientists to work with minute traces or samples of DNA- hence why it is possible to efficiently and accurately work with the quantities of DNA found on the tip of a cotton ended oral swab.
DNA profiling enables the owners to build an accurate record of their pets and to confirm their pedigree records. It is also very helpful in verifying semen used for artificial insemination. With this, animal breeds can guarantee their buyers of healthy pets.