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Down to the Genes Series

Everything the AJSA Needs to Know About DNA Testing

With the upcoming AJSA Regional and National Classics, and summer show season, it is very important…

DNA Requirements for Foundation-Registered AI Sires and Donor Dams

SimGenetics animals are frequently cross-bred, which means members are required to navigate the DNA requirements for other associations and discern whether or not the completed testing satisfies ASA requirements. Each association has its own DNA testing requirements for AI sires and donor dams, and foundation-registered sires and dams are required to meet ASA’s requirements regardless of breed. Below is an outline of what is required, examples of some common scenarios, and answers to frequently asked questions.

ASA requires a high-density test equivalent for all foundation-registered AI sires and donor dams.

Each association outside ASA may have a different designation for this test. For example, the American Angus Association may denote the test as a GS, or PF50. Some associations denote a high-density as a 50K, but others call low-density panels a 50K. Because of this, ASA requires written clarification from the respective association on whether or not the panel was high-density.

ASA requires that all AI sires and donor dams meet ASA’s genetic defect requirements.

ASA will accept defect testing results and/or statuses from any association, and from any lab. However, it is common for other associations to have less-stringent requirements for AI sires and donor dams. For example, some Maine Anjou or Chianina animals are only tested for PHA and TH, but will have either Angus or mix-breed in their pedigree, and therefore require additional AM, NH, and CA testing.

In the case that an animal has some testing through another association but requires additional testing for ASA, it may be possible to request that the other association pull the sample, run the required testing, and then share that information with ASA. It is important to make sure that the other association is able to do a high-density genomic panel.

An AI sire or donor dam may be “approved” for use with an equivalent high-density panel, but progeny will be put on genetic hold if defect requirements are not met.

Completing a foundation registration prior to requesting DNA testing may be helpful, as the animal will have a TraitTrac on Herdbook, which can be used to see if defect testing will be required.

Why do foundation-registered AI sires and donor dams have to meet ASA requirements?

Other associations may have less-stringent requirements for AI sires or donor dams. For example, only parental verification or defect testing may be required. ASA policy states that all AI sires and donor dams must have a high-density test equivalent, regardless of breed.

It is imperative that members research the DNA testing status of other-breed sires and donor dams prior to purchasing semen, flushing females, etc. The majority of the time, if semen is sold on a sire that isn’t approved, the seller will make sure the requirements are met. However, ASA cannot guarantee that the seller or owner will do this. A semen sample can be used for testing AI sires, and, if necessary, someone who doesn’t own an AI sire may submit the sample. The submitter will be responsible for the cost.

How can I see if an AI sire or donor dam of another breed is approved with ASA?

Search the animal in Herdbook. Please keep in mind that other breed association numbers, like Red Angus, may overlap with older ASA registration numbers. If you cannot find the correct animal, call ASA. If you can find the animal in Herdbook, scroll down and click “expanded report.” This will show whether or not the animal is approved.

If you don’t find the animal and discover that it isn’t registered with ASA, if you own the animal you will need to first complete a foundation registration (see page xxx). Then, you will need to complete the DNA testing requirements if necessary. If you don’t own the animal, please reach out to the party from whom the semen or embryos were purchased.

How do I transfer DNA testing information from another association to ASA?

If an animal is tested through another association and that testing meets ASA’s requirements, call the other association and ask that the “SNP parentage file and confirmation of high-density testing, with a date,” be shared with ASA. Most associations do this frequently and know the process.

When in doubt, please contact ASA.

Navigating other associations’ testing and ASA requirements can be tricky, as each association may use different terms, have different requirements, etc. ASA’s DNA department is always available to answer questions, and even if you are just considering using an AI sire or donor dam of another breed, we are happy to look the animals up and answer any questions you may have.

 

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