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Anim Genet. 2004 Feb;35(1):44-9.

Detection and characterization of SNPs useful for identity control and parentage testing in major European dairy breeds.

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  • 1Department für Tierwissenschaften, Lehrstuhl für Tierzucht der Technischen Universität Munich, Alte Akademie 12, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany.


We propose the use of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) instead of polymorphic microsatellite markers for individual identification and parentage control in cattle. To this end, we present an initial set of 37 SNP markers together with a gender-specific SNP for identity control and parentage testing in the Holstein, Fleckvieh and Braunvieh breeds. To obtain suitable SNPs, a total of 91.13 kb of random genomic DNA was screened yielding 531 SNPs. These, and 43 previously identified SNPs, were subjected to the following selection criteria: (1) the frequency of the minor allele must be larger than 0.1 in at least two of the three examined breeds, and (2) markers should not be linked closely. Allele frequencies were estimated by analysing sequencing traces of pooled DNA or by genotyping individual DNA samples. The selected SNP loci were physically mapped by radiation hybrid mapping or by fluorescence in situ hybridization, and tested against the neutral mutation hypothesis. The presented marker set theoretically allows probabilities of identity less than 10(-13) for individual verification and exclusion powers exceeding 99.99% for parentage testing.

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