Parentage & Genetic Defect Testing

In the last five years, significant advancements have been made in the power of DNA technology. The foundation of the vast majority of those advancements is largely due to the ability to accurately identify Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP). Initially, this technology was cost prohibitive; however, advancements have allowed this technology to become the most cost effective DNA technology available.

The “quickly becoming obsolete” DNA technology of Short Tandem Repeat (STR), also known as Micro-Satellite, has been largely replaced with SNP DNA technology for parentage determination and genetic defect testing in beef cattle. In fact, machines that perform STR are no longer manufactured.

In June 2011, the RAAA Board of Directors approved transitioning from STR to SNP DNA technology for parentage determination purposes. Effective July 1, 2012, RAAA will only accept parentage results conducted using SNP DNA technology. RAAA has deployed multiple strategies to support a cost-efficient and seamless transition. The most significant implemented strategy: RAAA taking a more active role in the DNA process by bringing parentage and genetic defect work ‘in-house.’ Through leveraging member’s collective buying power, this change will significantly reduce the cost of parentage and genetic defect testing. Additionally, this structure will allow for efficiencies to be gained in the registration of animals. 

The Process:

  1. Request DNA collection device (hair or FTA blood card) from RAAA via email or calling the National Office – (940) 387-3502. Straws of semen continue to be acceptable DNA samples. (Effective Nov. 1, 2015, DNA hair sample submissions are subject to a $4-lab-processing fee. More time is involved in extracting DNA from hair samples and statistics indicate hair samples to have a higher failure rate than blood cards.)

    Download and complete Sample Submission Form from the preferred lab links, provided below
  2. Mail collected sample, and Sample Submission Form to RAAA Attn: DNA Sample
  3. RAAA will ‘log’ submitted samples into the database and forward to DNA lab
  4. DNA lab performs requested work and sends results back to RAAA
  5. RAAA applies the results to the database and forwards results back to submitting member


GeneSeek Order Form (Excel XLS, Adobe PDF)          Zoetis Order Form (Excel XLS, Adobe PDF)

The Excel document will download into the location you have specified on your computer. Please check for a file named "GeneSeek_Order_Form_12-14-17.xls" or "Zoetis_Order_Form_9-30-17.xls" depending on which test you choose.


Collecting Hair Sample
RAAA Parentage Policy (page 13)
Genetic Defect Policy (page 17)
How to Submit a DNA Sample