Services for cattle breeding
Eurofins is the leading partner for livestock breeders and offers the whole range from parentage / identity testing over Freemartin diagnostic to IGENITY profile preparation.
Parentage / Identity testing
We genotype cattle using standard marker sets of 11 or 16 (if desired) microsatellites recommended by ISAG. Hence, our certificates provide national and international comparability. Additionally, if required, further microsatellites can be used.
The reported DNA fingerprint is unique for every individual and remains individual for the whole life of the cattle. The reliable identification of a specific cattle provides the possibility to broaden the perspective from single parentage testing towards origin and traceabilty testing of animal products as the DNA profile can be prepared from any bovine sample (blood, sperm, hair roots as well as meat and meat products).
A freemartin is an infertile female cattle showing masculine behaviour due to a chimeric karyotype (XX/XY). It is the result of mixed-sex twin pregnancy. The blood system of the two placentas is not disconnected totally. Hence, blood from each twin can flow around the other. As this has no impact on fetuses of the same sex, it allows male hormones to masculinize the female twin if sexual different fetuses are present that lead to an intersexuality of the female cattle.
To determine freemartins the male Y-chromosome is detected in white blood cells and can be performed soon after the birth of a suspected sterile female bovine.
Please contact us for any question!
Use the genetic profile of your cattle to make strategic breeding decisions!
Eurofins offers the IGENITYprofiling portfolio to help breeders to identify key production and health traits.
The following analysis can be performed on your cattle:
A genetic defect in the Myostatin gene causes the 'double-muscling' (muscular hypertrophy) phenotype. The protein Myostatin hampers excessive and uncontrolled muscle growth. Some specific genetically passed changes in the gene sequence, so-called disruptive mutations (see table), will result in an inactive Myostatin and, therefore, in a non-present inhibition function. Hence, animals with such a mutation will develope the extreme 'double-muscling'.
This will lead to difficult births and a subsequent lost of valuable sires. The most common mutation is the nt821 that occurs in Angus, Belgian Blue as well as other breeds. Only homozygous animales develope the 'double-muscling' phenotype. Hence, heterozygous animals only can be identified by genetic tests. As heterozygous animals pass on their genetic defect to 50 % of their offspring, this can have fatal outcomes. With the use of a heterozygous sire in a breed, the genetic defect can spread widely in the generation, without notification. After another pairing with a heterozygous sire, 25 % of the offspring has a homozygous ‘double-muscling’ genotype and phenotype with all its problems.
Anyhow, some cattle breeds show changes in the Myostatin gene, so-called missense mutations (see table), leading to a desired higher muscle mass and a decrease in external and intra-muscular fat content without any influence on birth weight. These variants can increase the breeding success. The performance of heterozygous animals regarding carcass muscling and fat content lays between the performance of the respective homozygous animals.
The beef profile shows the values for your cattle regarding the genetic potential of the following parameters:
tenderness, marbling, retail meat yield, back fat thickness, ribeye area, heifer pregnancy rate, longevity, maternal calving ease, docility.
Please contact us for any question regarding the IGENITY® testing portfolio!
How to send in samples...
...and how long does it take?
Use our central sample submission days (once per month) and get a 20 % discount on the list price (e.g. EUR 39.- instead of EUR 49.- per animal for double muscling analysis):
We recommend, especially for valuable sires, the submission of EDTA blood (1 - 3 mL). The submission of sperm samples as well as hair roots (15 - 20 pieces) is subject to surcharge (EUR 4.- per animal).
Please note that the submission of hairs can potentially affect the analysis' quality as dirt, saliva and hairs from other animals can adulterate the result. Additionally, less roots on the hairs can hamper the analysis. The stronger the hairs and the roots the better.
Please be very careful during sampling and clean the sampling equipment after every animal! Please mark the samples according to your order form.
Please note: samples for the central submission days need to be in the lab on the mentioned date latest. Hair samples will routinely only be processed at the central submission days.
Duration of examination and prices
Usually the results are available within 7 - 10 working days; IGENITY profiles need up to 4 - 6 weeks.
For price information, just contact us!
All analyses are carried out by our ISO 9001 certified and ISO 17025 accredited laboratory.