Friday, September 7, 2012

Take Care When Collecting Hair Samples

I received this reminder from the American Hereford Association this morning:

Take Care When Collecting DNA

GeneSeek Inc., Lincoln, Neb., is the new American Hereford Association (AHA) DNA lab (learn more). The switch has not been without its challenges and one of those is that the new technology, SNP based, requires a lot more DNA than the previous technology. In other words, we have had several requests that have not fully been reported because the lab will not have enough DNA for each of the tests. Assays are different for the abnormalities, parent verification, horned/polled and 50k GE-EPD.
The bottom line is the lab needs a minimum of 80 hairs with the follicles and the best place to pull is right above the switch on the tail. This technology is also very sensitive to contamination due to pour-ons and other insecticides, so please keep that in mind. If you have any questions, contact Jack Ward at 816-842-3757.
SNP assays require large amounts of high quality DNA. From GENESEEK's instructions, the amount of hair should be about the thickness of a ball point pin.  For more information on collecting tissues for DNA extraction, check out this guide from MU Extension (website or pdf).
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