GA DNA Assurance Program

The Greyhounds Australasia DNA Assurance Programme (GADAP)

DeoxyriboNucleic Acid (DNA) is the virtual instruction book for our bodies and is found in all nucleated cells, which can be found in blood, hair follicles, cheek swabs, or even faeces. DNA encodes our genetic makeup and is passed from one generation to the next; we inherit half our DNA from our mother and half from our father.

From humans to animals to plants, DNA is providing conclusive genetic answers to previously unsolvable questions, such as paternity, pedigree and inherited diseases.

DNA profiling enables parentage identification and verification (sire and dam) of all greyhound pedigrees.  The DNA extracted from a greyhound’s blood is identical to the DNA extracted from the same greyhound’s buccal swab (cheek swab), its hair follicle or its skin. Once at the laboratory, the blood is treated by chemical and physical methods in order to break open the cell to reveal a nucleus, which contains a unique genetic profile.

‘All canine genotyping undertaken by Genomic Diagnostics is performed using internationally recognised canine markers, viewed as the most reliable and accurate canine markers in the world.  Two panels, consisting of a total of 17 canine markers, may be used to confirm or exclude a possible sire; thereby providing superior studbook maintenance.’

DNA profiling is the method of choice because it:

• is more effective and efficient than blood typing;
• allows unique, enduring individual identification; and
• can resolve parentage cases with a probability exclusion of up to 99.99%.

The steps to have your greyhound DNA registered are:

  1. The applicant applies to Greyhounds Australasia with the fee of $180.
  2. Greyhounds Australasia sends out the DNA kit.
  3. The applicant takes the greyhound to their vet along with the DNA kit and the greyhounds’ registration identification card.
  4. The vet collects the sample and verifies the greyhound, then sends the sample to the designated laboratory for testing.
  5. The designated laboratory runs the DNA profile and confirms parentage.
  6. Greyhounds Australasia receives the results from the laboratory and notifies Controlling Bodies of the outcome. The applicant will receive a formally printed DNA certificate by mail.

The greyhound DNA programme has already proven to be valuable.  Whether you just want to bet on a race, or purchase a greyhound, it guarantees a level of assurance that would not have been possible years ago.

DNA has come a long way since its discovery and will continue to provide information for breeders on disease, health, traits and pedigree. DNA profiling may even lead to the identification of DNA markers linked to performance traits and genetic disorders in the breed.

“Now, modern technology can offer a science-driven method of improving the chances of selecting the best combination of genes when selecting the sire and dam for breeding in order to maximise the possibilities of higher quality offspring for racing. This involves a cost-effective, affordable analysis of the gene complexes of the sire and dam that are associated with performance ability on the track.  You know before the mating or insemination which stud dog's gene complex will match up best with the gene complex of the breeding female, to provide the best opportunity for producing a litter with track performance potential - whether that be for sprint or distance performance. DNA science may also reveal the gene complexes associated with early speed out of the boxes to the first turn, or that strong finishing ability.''

Where to from here? The development of tests to enable breeding for specific racing traits?  An ability to select greyhounds based on sprint or endurance would be an asset to the industry.  We can see DNA can, and will, play a role in providing the breeder with better tools to select the next group winner! Perhaps the next greyhound champion will be known as Genetically Enhanced!

If you have any queries or require further information in relation to DNA please contact:

GREYHOUNDS AUSTRALASIA

SANDOWN GREYHOUND RACING COMPLEX
LIGHTWOOD ROAD SPRINGVALE   VIC    3171.

POSTAL ADDRESS:

PO BOX 239, SPRINGVALE, VIC 3171.

PHONE: (03) 9548 3500
FAX: (03) 9548 3488
E-MAIL: admin@galtd.org.au

Genomic Diagnostics is the largest, accredited human DNA paternity testing laboratory and the only accredited, commercial forensics laboratory in Australia.  The company provides the highest accuracy DNA testing for humans (paternity, relationship, sports performance, forensic analysis, disaster victim identification, cancer susceptibility); animals (paternity/pedigree, inherited traits, inherited disease); and plants (genotyping for variety identification and traits).

Genomic Diagnostics continues to build its animal testing service and is recognised and endorsed by the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) as the provider of DNA typing of all breeding stock for pedigree dogs in Australia. 

Contributions by:

Amanda Chin BV Sc 

Dr Jim Gannon AM,; BVSc ; FACVSc

Melanie Marty B.Sc (Hons)

 

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