Sheep Genotyping | GenomNZ Animal DNA Genotyping Sheep | Genom NZ

GenomNZ offers a SNP-based parentage assay that is compatible with all sheep SNP-based genotyping platforms currently available both in New Zealand and internationally.

This ~17,000 SNP assay includes the NZ SNP parentage markers¹ as well as the gene marker tests² for GDF8 (Meat Yield and Fat Yield), GDF9 (Number of Lambs Born), BCO2 (yellow fat), BMP15/FecX (Fecundity), Booroola, Micropthalmia, Inverdale, scrapie and a series of other SNP markers currently under validation. 

This Sheep XT Plus Package includes:

  • Parentage assignment
  • Reporting of single gene tests
  • Client ownership of the SNP genotypes 
  • The genotypes made available to your provider of choice for genomic selection
  • Client ownership of DNA samples
  • Storage of DNA for 18 months
  • Database storage of genotypes

With the advancement of technology, we have begun using ear punches as our primary sample type.

These samples are stored in Tissue Sampling Units (TSUs) and are taken on farm by using an applicator to punch a small piece of tissue from the animal’s ear directly into the sampling unit. This sample type has been shown to provide both higher quality DNA and potential on-farm benefits. 

The Allflex® TSUs and applicator (where licensing allows) can be bought directly from your local farm supply store as a separate unit or (if you use Allflex tags) can be bought with the tag order allowing the TSU to be linked to the tag, and remove the need for any manual recording.  
Alternatively, GenomNZ is more than happy to sell them to you.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss our sheep genotyping service with you to suit your requirements.

Research Programme

Over the last decade, advances in DNA sequencing technologies have resulted in a significant drop in genotyping costs. This has enabled the Animal Genomics team to provide the industry with the options of utilising DNA parentage markers for pedigree assignment, marker-assisted selection using DNA markers linked to quantitative trait loci and/or known single gene causative markers, and more recently genomic selection.  

Genomic selection uses whole genome molecular markers where the genomic prediction combines marker data with phenotypic data (observable markers) to provide breeding values. Genomic selection enables decisions to be made early in age and on hard to measure or expensive traits. Recently the team has achieved the cost of genomic selection similar to that of a “parentage and single gene test” product, with the aim of providing pedigree, single gene tests and genomic breeding values all delivered from one genotyping product prior to weaning.

The Animal Genomics team continues to provide improvements for the livestock sector in production, animal health and welfare.


1 Parentage SNP reference:
A high throughput single nucleotide polymorphism multiplex assay for parentage assignment in New Zealand sheep. SM Clarke et al., PloS one 9 (4), e93392

2 Gene test references:
Gene: GDF8 Trait: Meat Yield and Fat Yield. A mutation creating a potential illegitimate microRNA target site in the myostatin gene affects muscularity in sheep. A Clop et al. Nature Genetics, 2006; 38(7):813-8.
Gene: GDF9 Trait: Number of Lambs Born (NLB). A missense mutation in growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) is strongly associated with litter size in sheep. DI Våge et al. BMC Genetics, 2013; 14:1.
Gene: BCO2 Trait: Yellow Fat. A nonsense mutation in the beta-carotene oxygenase 2 (BCO2) gene is tightly associated with accumulation of carotenoids in adipose tissue in sheep (Ovis aries). DI Våge and IA Boman, BMC Genetics, 2010; 11:10.
Gene: BMP15 Trait: Fecundity. Mutations in an oocyte-derived growth factor gene (BMP15) cause increased ovulation rate and infertility in a dosage-sensitive manner. SM Galloway et al, Nature Genetics, 2000, 25:279-283