Genotyping refers to the process of using laboratory methods to determine which alleles an individual animal carries, usually at one particular gene or “locus” in the genome. The genotype identifies which alleles an animal carries. Producers must send in samples containing DNA from animals to be tested to the testing lab. Because all cells contain DNA, it is possible to genotype many different tissue types; however, laboratories may differ in their preferred sample type. Typical samples include blood vials or cards, semen, and tail hair samples. It is important that tail hair samples include the roots – ideally 30-50 hairs with intact roots. Below are links to videos on sampling DNA from cattle using different methods.
If you are sampling DNA from a deceased animal, call the testing laboratory to determine the best protocol. It is important to get a good quality sample to ensure the DNA test will be able to generate results. The cost of testing varies depending upon the company and how many tests are performed but ranges from $10-40/test; with an average of ~$25/test. Irrespective of carrier animals in its pedigree, an animal that has been tested and found to be a non-carrier did not inherit the mutant allele and will not transmit the genetic defect to its progeny.