Markers to Help Trace Genetic Defects
In this new age of genetics, genome maps are being developed to more rapidly advance diagnosis and treatment of genetic diseases in animals. The alpaca is no exception. Thanks to Morris Animal Foundation funding and generous support from the llama and alpaca community, there is now a complete genome map for the alpaca. Through prior and current funding, scientists from Curtin University in Australia identified 249 important genetic markers and provided many of the individual gene sequences needed to complete the alpaca genome map at the National Institutes of Health in late 2008. Certain markers were used to develop a blood-based DNA test, which is now available, to accurately identify members of a specific alpaca family. This will help researchers trace genetic defects and design more effective treatments. It will also help owners make better breeding decisions. These markers may also be useful in llamas, guanacos and vicuñas for the same reasons. Funding from this study has helped a promising new scientist establish her lab and research program.
Posted by MAFon February 2, 2010. Permalink