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By Eula Clarke
DNA is the blueprint of all living things. It contains information that dictates how they breathe, eat, reproduce and look like. DNA technology has revolutionized how we do things. It enables one to determine parentage, predict the appearance of a phenotype or even a disease present in the parent population to the offspring. This technology is not only available for humans but also for animals such as horses. Equine DNA testing is used on horses.

Equines may be tested for several reasons including to determine who their parents are. This information is required for breeding purposes. Determining pedigree information through traditional methods such as observation, manual identification and record keeping is inaccurate and yields the unintended offspring. As a result, scientific methods are preferred.

The aim of selective breeding is to come up with animals of superior performance or with certain phenotypic characteristics. Use of DNA ensures that this aim is met. The technology of genes may also be applied to determine if a horse possesses the risk of suffering from a certain disease. A genetic profile of the equine should reveal its set of genes from which an analyst can determine probability.

DNA can be tested in various genetic laboratories around the world. A simple search online reveals many companies. They have a set of sample collection procedures and guidelines that one may follow in order to extract the sample to be used for the test. After collection, the samples are sent to the laboratories through post service from anywhere around the world.

The tests may vary in costs depending on the type and number of scheduled tests. Once the analysis is complete, the company will send a copy of the results to you. The results are in the form of a chart that the layman may find hard to understand. However, they will call to explain further what the results mean and the implications for the horse.

The collection of samples is not difficult at all. It all depends on the sample to be collected. Hair samples are the most preferred and are collected by plucking a few strands of the tail or the mane. Cheek cells can be obtained by gently brushing the insides of the cheek using a cheek brush. For blood samples, 3ml is drawn and transferred to an EDTA Vacutainer tube for mailing.

When these samples arrive at the laboratory, DNA is extracted. It is extracted from the hair follicle cells in the hair sample and from the nucleus in the cells of this cheek or the blood. After extraction, twelve specific gene markers are tested to produce a profile or genotype of the equine. Note that each of the markers bears a pair of alleles, and each pair is from each parent.

As humans, DNA technology has become a very important aspect of our lives. Now, we can use it to improve other species on Earth. For horses, the technology enables pure breeding. It is also possible to predict whether a particular horse is likely to give offspring with certain genetic conditions and disorders. More importantly, breeders can rely on this technology to establish true and accurate parentage of a horse before breeding it.

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The Process Of Equine DNA Testing

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