Genetic testing has been developed into an essential management tool for the veterinarians, breeders and owners to breed sound and healthy cats. Some traits are highly sought after and genetic tests have been developed to help breeders to accurately determine appropriate mating combinations. Correct mating decisions made on appropriate information assists breeders to become more efficient.
The point of entry is detailed, accurate and reliable family trees that have been genetically validated. Parentage verification can be performed by comparing DNA profiles. At present DNA profile analysis is performed by making use of the ISAG approved STR marker profile consisting of 17 different DNA markers providing enough variation to accurately compile a unique DNA profile for individual identification as well as breeding confirmation.
Genetic tests for simple genetic traits assist with determining genetic disorders and prediction of risk factors. Breeders will have to consider risk factors along with the other important attributes of a cat for their breeding decisions.
At present DNA profile analysis, breeding confirmation and genetic tests for selected genetic disorders and traits can be offered at Unistel Medical Laboratories. Disorders include PKD1, Vitamin D-deficiency rickets, Haemophilia B1 and B2, and hypothyroidism among others. Traits include Maine Coon hair length and coat colour tests.