DNA – What Testing Does ASA Offer and Which One Should You Request?

In this day and age with so many different DNA tests being offered, trying to figure out which one you should use or actually need on any given animal can be quite challenging. The following is an attempt to serve as an explanation of the various tests being offered and also suggestions for which groups of animals might best benefit from each test.

Genomic Tests – Genomic tests give a more accurate picture of what DNA markers an offspring inherited from its parents in the form of single nucleotide polymorphisms(SNPs). These DNA markers are associated with the genetic control of various traits.
GeneSeek Genomic Profiler HD(better known as GGP-HD) has up to 150,000 genetic markers and provides more extensive data than any other profile currently offered.  ASA REQUIRES all AI sires and Donor Dams to have a GGP-HD profile(including other breed sire and dams or commercial females). Additional add-on content is available, see DNA pricing sheet for more information.
GeneSeek Genomic Profiler LD(better known as GGP-LD) has around 47,000 genetic markers and provides you with an affordable option that offers high-accuracy genomic prediction. ASA recommends GGP-LD testing for herd sires and replacement heifers. Additional add-on content is available, see DNA pricing sheet for more information.
The GGP-HD and GGP-LD tests also include parent verification(if the parent animals have DNA on file for comparison) and diluter results.
GeneSeek Genomic Profiler uLD(better known as GGP-uLD) has around 9,000 genetic markers and provides you with an affordable option that offers high-accuracy genomic prediction. ASA recommends GGP-uLD testing for replacement heifers. Additional add-on content is NOT available on the uLD. If additional trait testing is needed on the animal, we recommend either the GGP-HD or GGP-LD.
The GGP-uLD test does include parent verification(if the parent animals have DNA on file for comparison).
The results of GGP-HD, GGP-LD and GGP-uLD testing are blended in to an animal’s EPDs, thus increasing the accuracy and resulting in the equivalent of an estimated 5-10 progeny already being recorded to that animal.  As you can imagine, genomic testing can have a large impact on maximizing your herd’s genetic potential, especially with regards to replacement heifers since most females would not achieve that level of accuracy until they are 8-10 years of age.
Genomic tests DO NOT automatically include trait testing such as horned/polled or coat color results.  If additional trait testing is desired it must be requested when you order the kit in addition to the genomic test and add-on pricing will apply.
Parent Verification(PV) is the minimum testing requirement for purchased embryos.  This testing simply confirms whether the animal qualifies or does not qualify to the sire/dam. Read more about parentage testing and how it works by clicking here.
Additional Trait Testing
Coat Color(CC) testing is utilized to confirm whether the animal is homozygous or heterozygous black.  A result confirming a homozygous black animal means these animal’s should always produce black calves when mated to non-diluted red or black cows. A heterozygous black result means these animal’s are black but carry one red gene.  When mated to non-diluted red cows, you can expect 50% of the calves to be black and 50% red. For more information on coat color, click here.
Red Charlie(RC) is a red coat color variant carried in certain pedigree lineages. To view whether your animal is a potential carrier of RC, check out the individual animal’s TraitTrac display.  To view more information on Red Charlie, click here.
Horned/Polled(HP) testing is utilized to confirm whether the animal is homozygous or heterozygous polled. A result confirming a homozygous polled animal means this animal’s calves will all be smooth polled.  A result confirming heterozygous polled means the animal has one horned gene and may have horned progeny if mated with another animal carrying a horn gene. There is no DNA test available for scurrs at present so these results do not include the scurr gene.  For more information on horned/polled, click here.
Diluter(DL) testing is used to see if an animal is a carrier of the dilution gene.  For more information on dilution, click here to be directed over to the Science Community Blog.
Oculocutaneous Hypopigmentation(OH) is a cosmetic genetic trait resulting in cattle having uniformly light colored irises coupled with an unusual chocolate coat color.  OH is a simple recessive trait meaning an animal must inherit two copies of the mutation to display the trait. For more information on OH, click here.
Genetic Defect TestingREQUIRED on any Sire or Donor Dam that are listed as having a  population risk(PR), documented carrier in the lineage(DL) or carrier in the lineage(CL) for any genetic defects under their TraitTrac.
Arthrogryposis Multiplex(AM)
Neuropathis Hydrocephalus(NH)
Contractural Arachnodactyly(CA)
Developmental Duplication(DD)
Osteopetrosis(OS)
Tibial Hemimelia(TH)
Pulmonary Hypoplasia with Anasarca(PHA)
For more information on these genetic conditions, click here.

Click here to view the ASA pricing for all the above mentioned tests. If you would like to request a kit, see How to Order a DNA kit.  For any other questions, concerns or to visit more about DNA testing either email dna@simmgene.com or call 406.587.4531.