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Front Genet. 2012 Aug 14;3:140. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2012.00140. eCollection 2012.

Imputation of microsatellite alleles from dense SNP genotypes for parental verification.

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Bovine Functional Genomics Lab, United States Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service Beltsville, MD, USA.


Microsatellite (MS) markers have recently been used for parental verification and are still the international standard despite higher cost, error rate, and turnaround time compared with Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP)-based assays. Despite domestic and international interest from producers and research communities, no viable means currently exist to verify parentage for an individual unless all familial connections were analyzed using the same DNA marker type (MS or SNP). A simple and cost-effective method was devised to impute MS alleles from SNP haplotypes within breeds. For some MS, imputation results may allow inference across breeds. A total of 347 dairy cattle representing four dairy breeds (Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, and Jersey) were used to generate reference haplotypes. This approach has been verified (>98% accurate) for imputing the International Society of Animal Genetics recommended panel of 12 MS for cattle parentage verification across a validation set of 1,307 dairy animals. Implementation of this method will allow producers and breed associations to transition to SNP-based parentage verification utilizing MS genotypes from historical data on parents where SNP genotypes are missing. This approach may be applicable to additional cattle breeds and other species that wish to migrate from MS- to SNP-based parental verification.


ISAG; SNP haplotype; across breed imputation; microsatellite imputation; parentage verification

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