Date of Award:

2013

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences

Advisor/Chair:

Lee F Rickords

Abstract

Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are single base-pair variations that exist between individuals. There are approximately a million or more SNPs located throughout the genome of each individual animal. Therefore, by taking advantage of these unique polymorphisms, SNPs can be used to resolve questions of unknown parentage in the livestock industry. Currently a panel of 88 SNPs, obtained from a panel of 121 SNPs originally created by USDA-MARC, is commercially available from Fluidigm®. The objective of this study was to determine whether the number of SNPs from the 88-SNP marker panel could be reduced to form a smaller, more cost-efficient parentage-testing SNP panel. A smaller panel would benefit farmers and researchers alike in reducing the time spent in running and analyzing the test, as well as reducing the overall cost for the procedure. Genotype data from over 3000 cattle samples containing offspring and potential parents were examined using two parentage calling software packages. Parentage assessment was analyzed using nine SNP panels of varying size. It was determined that a panel of 71 SNPs, chosen from the original 88 SNPs, was the minimum number required to maintain statistical accuracy and reliability.

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