Types of Testing

Types of Testing

Genetics, Genomics, and Disease Testing Class

Trait & Genetic Defect Testing

DNA testing can tell you what genes your cows carry and pass on to their offspring.  These tests can be for horned status, coat color, verify parentage, and genetic defects like PHAFreemartin and milk proteins, A2 genotypeKappa Casein, and Beta Lactoglobulin.  An important test for BD1/Chondrodysplasia, the genetic defect “Bulldog Gene” that causes dwarfism in cattle is required for registration with PMJS.

Most of the Mini Jersey bulls used in Artificial Insemination (AI) are gene-mapped and on file at UC Davis – Veterinary Genetics Lab.  You can have your cattle tested for a potential sire if he’s mapped and you have his UCD- VGL case number.  Many numbers can be found in the Purebred Herd Book online profiles.  To do this, you submit a DNA hair root sample and have your cow DNA mapped.  Then, they compare the genome side-by-side with the parent you named.  You can parental verify to both sire and dam if they’ve been mapped there.  UC Davis VGL doesn’t have the capability to discover a parent from the vast database or verify if the parent isn’t DNA mapped.

Testing Facilities:

Genomic Testing

Genomics is a deeper look into DNA.  This includes Index tests that use prediction algorithms.  The information obtained can be helpful in selecting the best calves from your herd without having to feed them out for two years to see how they mature.  Some of the tests tell Breed Based Representation (BBR), Maternal Traits, Performance Traits, Carcass Traits, Fertility, Somatic Cell Score, Dairy Form, Milk Yield, and more.

The Breed Based Representation (BBR) reference group is the CDCB genotype database of 3,147 Jersey bulls with 5 generations of confirmed parents with blood-typing.  To gain access to this testing for a Miniature Jersey, you must go through the American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA), record your Jerseys, then order the genomic test for around $50 each.  Once on file, all genomic-tested animals are automatically DNA-matched to parents that were profiled.  Discoveries of related animals in the pedigree can sometimes be found, to include a sire or dam, if they’ve been tested.  Genomics testing not only reports BBR, it also tests for JH1 and JNS genetic defects.

Disease & Pregnancy Testing​

Cattle can contract diseases that take years off their life and cause their productivity to end prematurely with the loss of fertility.  These diseases spread through a herd and cause a significant loss of income.  A few diseases that you or your vet can check for are Bovine Viral Diarrhea ​(BVD), Bovine Leukemia Virus (BLV), Johne’s Disease (Crohn’s), Brucellosis (Bangs Disease), Q-Fever (Query Fever/Coxiellosis), Tuberculosis (TB), Staph A (MRSA), MycoplasmaNeospora, strains of mastitis and pregnancy.  Some tests can be done on a milk sample or hair root but others require a blood or tissue sample.

Testing Facilities:

Armor Lab can test milk or blood for BLV, BVD, Johne’s, and pregnancy.  There are two options to culture milk samples for mastitis panels.

Offers 28-day pregnancy($5), BLV, BVD, Johne’s, and Neospora are all $7 each, mastitis panel ($4-$40), and A1/A2 milk($10).

Sage Labs offers BioPRYN – 28-day pregnancy ($3), Johne’s ($5), and Q-fever ($7), blood tests. Biosecurity ($11) is a discounted test for both diseases.

Tests include necropsy ($120), Blue Tongue ($6), BLV ($7), BVD ELISA ($5), Brucella ($3), Mastitis culture ($7), IBR PCR ($25), Johne’s ELISA ($7), Mycoplasma ($6), Neospora ($11), and lots more, plus $10 out-of-state.

Tests include necropsy ($187), disease profiles ($48-$240), BLV ($9), BVD ELISA ($11), Johne’s, IBR ($68), Brucella ($9), Johne’s fecal PCR ($84), Mastitis culture ($8), Pregnancy ($9), Neospora ($9), Q-fever ($15) and many, many more.