Genetic paternity tests conducted with pigeons (Columbia livia var. Domestica and other species)

Information 05/14/27.

Interest in these tests

are several situations where genetic testing can help make identifications with pigeons, such as the following:

1. Determination of species

When the exact species is unknown, it can be determined by genetic analysis.

2. Sexing

Young pigeons do not express obvious external differences between the two sexes (males and females, ie lack of sexual dimorphism), so it is difficult
to determine the sex. The same may occur in some adult birds.

However, there
are genetic differences that can allow this differentiation. Feral pigeons have 80 chromosomes (40 pairs), unlike mammals, such as man, which have 46 chromosomes (23 pairs). All pairs of chromosomes, but one of them are called autosomes, because they have nothing to do with gender differences. A pair of chromosome in each species of animals, is called sex chromosomes (alosomas), that are implicated in sex differences.

In birds sex chromosomes are inverse to what occurs in mammals, so females are heterogametic (ZW), while the male is homogamético (ZZ). By this feature it can be determined
by detecting the gene sequence W chromosome and chromosome Z. The presence only of chromosome Z, identifies males, and Z and W chromosome identifies females. In other animals, such as mammals, it is the opposite, ie chromosomes are homogametic females (XX), whereas the male are heterogametic (XY).

3. Determination of paternity and genetic line (pedigrees)

Since the domestication of the domestic pigeon (Columbia livia var. Domestica), from the wild rock dove, they have obtained several hundred different varieties of pigeons. Many of these varieties
are only maintained by their outward appearance, its sport flying ability, or other special characteristics of each.

Occasionally, there have been considered a dove frauds related to a variety of pigeon having any relevant feature generally competitive type, which increases its value. For this reason the genetic comparison is required,
in order to affirm and verify the family relationship, on many occasions.

In genetic studies of kinship, they can be followed reliably up
to three generations of offspring compared to parents (children, grandchildren and great - grandchildren).

Tests in IVAMI:

  • Determination of the species by PCR amplification (Polymerase Chain Reaction) and sequencing.
  • Sex determination by PCR amplification.
  • Determination of paternity, by identifying the STR (Short Tandem Repeats types.

Samples recommended:

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Preservation and shipment of samples

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Time to broadcast results

The usual time is less than 7 working days, since the sample is received. If we have before the results, it would communicate. The reports are sent by email and / or mail, as requested by the customer.

Cost of testing

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Sending samples:

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Basic information on genetic tests

to. What are the basics for genetic testing in birds?

Molecular tests can determine the paternity of offspring of any species.

These tests are based on the differences in the sequences of nucleic acids existing in the nucleus of cells. The nucleic acid of the cells of birds is distributed in the 80 chromosomes of each cell. In each cell there are two similar copies of each of the chromosomes, 40 of them from the father and 40 maternally derived.

To know the paternity of a descendant, it is used to study chromosomal differences in each copy. As mentioned, a descendant receives a copy of each chromosome from the father and one mother. If we study the nucleic acid sequences of the cells of a descendant, we can detect the characteristics of the copy from the mother, easy to determine when compared to the chromosomes of the mother. The other chromosome, with its characteristics, from the Father, and therefore can be compared with those of / of course / s parent / s under study. If the characteristics of chromosome son are among those found in the father and the mother, it can be said that this child is one of those parents. On the contrary if only half of all features of the chromosome of the mother is in the child, but half of all the features of the father are not on the child, you can say that son is not the father. If you have only sign son and father investigated, it can only be said if you can exclude the father studied, as a parent of the child.

What tests are done to determine paternity? - Study of microsatellites

The present usual to compare the sequences of nucleic acids in paternity studies, is through the test called STR (Short Tandem Repeats; Sequences repeated short). As its name suggests, it is the study of short sequences of the constituents of nucleic acids (nucleotide), which are repeated along chromosomes. These short sequences are called "microsatellites". To view these microsatellites, in the laboratory the nucleic acid of the cells present in the sample is extracted. Then, the multiplication (replication or copied many times) areas of the sequences of nucleic acids, where the nucleotide repeats (microsatellites) is performed. These copies are obtained by a procedure termed "PCR" (polymerase chain reaction; polymerase chain reaction). PCR with thousands of millions of copies of each of the microsatellite having the chromosomes, so that can be displayed in the lab and compared are obtained. However, these copies are mixed, and so that they can compare it is necessary to separate them according to size. To this end, methods such as gel electrophoresis, or capillary electrophoresis of a nucleic acid sequence which separate copies based on their electric charge and molecular size are used.

Microsatellite patterns obtained from each subject under study are compared each other to determine similarities and differences. In the pattern of microsatellite a descendant must be some that are identical to those of the mother. The rest must correspond with the alleged father. If no match, then the individual is not a descendant of the father studied.

What samples are needed for testing? - cells are needed

It is necessary to have cells from which nucleic acids can be extracted chromosomes. Any biological sample containing cells is suitable. For example, a swab impregnated in cells of the oral mucosa, a blood sample, feathers with its root, ........

How reliable are these tests? - Very high

These tests have a 100% reliability to exclude paternity, and reliability over 99% to attribute paternity.