OKLAHOMA CITY - DNA Solutions, Inc. has reached an important milestone. The Oklahoma City genetic testing laboratory recently tested its 100,000th whitetail deer. The DNA testing defines pedigrees that are used to answer breeding questions, design breeding strategies and settle disputes.
In 2007, DNA Solutions was hired to create and manage the North American Deer Registry (NADR). This registry is a combination of the Texas Deer Association (TDA) and the North American Deer Farmers Association (NADeFA) registries. Shawn Schafer, NADeFA executive director, said "Combining the registries helped to increase awareness of the deer industry and benefits that deer associations provide to deer breeders." Richard Cain, TDA, added, "NADR represents an authentic, powerful database for parentage of farmed whitetails breeders all across North America and contributes to the integrity of the deer industry."
Deer breeders submit samples taken from deer hair, tissue, blood, semen, and/or antler core to DNA Solutions for analysis. The laboratory scientists compare the unique DNA profile to other whitetail deer in the North American Deer Registry to produce a lineage going back in some cases seven generations.
As the number of registered whitetail deer continues to increase, the genetic history of each animal is easier to trace.
Dr. Brandt Cassidy, Laboratory Director, states "Processing 100,000 deer samples indicates that the deer breeding industry places great value in knowing the DNA contribution from the parents to the fawn."
Ray Burdette, president of the North American Deer Registry agrees and added, "This value has become the standard for deer breeders, buyers, and auctioneers and legitimizes the whitetail deer breeding industry in North America."
Rancho Trinidad submitted the 100,000th deer sample. The ranch has over 3,000 acres with two locations near Kennedy and Rock Springs, Texas. According to Davin Cox, ranch manager, "The registry has allowed us to better market our deer with the assurance that we can solidify every pedigree with documentation from DNA analysis. Without these DNA'd certificates, sales of breeder deer would not take place. It has also become a backup tool to our herd inventory for better organization."
This DNA standard has also contributed to technological advancements at DNA Solutions. Since 2007, DNA Solutions has increased the number of genetic markers used in testing from 9 to 18. A genetic marker is a gene located on a chromosome and is used to uniquely identify each deer. "As inbreeding deer for selecting traits has increased and genetic diversity has decreased, more genetic markers were added to maximize the probability of accurate lineage assignments." said Dr. Cassidy.
In addition, DNA Solutions invested in robotic technology to automate sample processing and decrease turnaround times for deer breeders.
The North American Deer Registry and DNA Solutions continue working together to adapt genetic service offerings for the future. According to Burdette, the registry will adapt to a changing social and economic environment to include animal genetic testing for breeding, food consumption and reproduction.
For more information about DNA Solutions Inc., visit www.dnasolutionsusa.com