DNA profile: molecular fingerprint of my dog
DNA profile is a unique molecular fingerprint that does not change over a lifetime and allows unambiguous identification of an animal regardless of its age. DNA profile comprises of the analysis of specific areas on the DNA (markers) that are characterized by changes in length. Due to differences in length, different states or alleles appear in each individual. By analysing enough markers, we get a DNA profile that is specific to each dog.
The DNA profile can be used in different cases:
1. Parentage determination:
Parentage analysis is performed by comparing the DNA profiles of the female, potential male, and puppy. Parentage verification is done by statistical analysis of DNA profiles. Due to the nature of the method, it is necessary to analyse the DNA profiles of both parents and the puppy for a reliable analysis of parentage. If a sample of only one of the parents is available, this parent can be excluded as a parent but cannot be confirmed.
2. Loss or theft of a dog:
If you know your dog’s DNA profile you can prove his identity in case of theft or loss.
3. Lifelong identification:
If the microchip stops working and can no longer be detected, you can use DNA profile to prove the identity of the animal.
4. Confirmation that the animal is free from certain genetic diseases (free by parentage):
Genetic diseases are characteristic for certain breeds. If both parents are tested for a particular disease and are negative, we can use DNA profile to prove that all puppies are free of the disease. If all puppies in a litter are clamed to be disease-free by parents this should be verified by a DNA profile.
DNA profile is used for dog identification in the case of semen storage and insemination. With the help of a DNA profile semen is identified and paternity can be confirmed.
Depending on the choice of markers there are several approaches to DNA profiling. The most common approach is with markers recommended by ISAG (International Society of Animal Genetics). Most laboratories around the world make DNA profiles according to ISAG recommendations. Standardization of DNA profiles is an advantage from the breeder's point of view, as the DNA profiles of two dogs, which were made in different laboratories by the same method, are completely comparable. If two dogs have DNA profiles made by different methods, it is necessary to repeat the analysis in one dog to be able to compare them.
The DNA profile is a modern molecular tool with the help of which we can objectively solve many dilemmas regarding the identification of animals.