Article Text

Verification of the identity of bovine semen using DNA microsatellite markers
  1. J. L. Williams, PhD, BSc1,
  2. A. P. Usha, PhD, MVSc1,
  3. B. G. D. Urquhart, BSc1 and
  4. M. Kilroy, BA, MVB, MRCVS2
  1. 1 Roslin Institute (Edinburgh), Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9PS
  2. 2 North Western Cattle Breeding Society, Sligo, Ireland


Over the past 30 years cattle have been identified by blood typing, but recently the use of DNA markers has provided a more precise method of identifying individuals and verifying their parentage. This article describes the use of microsatellite-based DNA markers for confirming the identity of semen, as part of the evidence presented in a legal dispute. Two panels of markers and two methods for identifying allelic variation are compared; for both approaches the likelihood of finding two Charolais individuals with the same genotype was less than one in a million. Animals can therefore be identified conclusively from DNA samples, a technique which could be of use when their identity is in dispute.

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