Article Text

A new method of paternity testing for dogs, based on microsatellite sequences
  1. I Zajc,
  2. C Mellersh,
  3. EP Kelly and
  4. J Sampson
  1. Department of Biochemistry, University of Leicester.


Microsatellite sequences, like minisatellites, belong to a class of polymorphic DNA that is commonly found in mammalian DNA. Although they vary significantly less in a population of animals than minisatellites, they have potential for use in paternity disputes. However, their inherently lower variability together with the more genetically homogeneous nature of pedigree dogs due to inbreeding (line breeding), raised doubts about their effectiveness for paternity tests. This paper demonstrates that canine microsatellites provide an adequate basis for assigning paternity in pedigree breeds. The system presented is more straightforward to perform and interpret than that based on canine minisatellites (DNA 'fingerprinting') and requires as little as 0.1 ml of blood.

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