We examined the practicality of using a combination of protein polymorphism and DNA fingerprinting to match up hinds and calves in nine separate mating groups of red deer with between 8 and 21 progeny each. Variation in 10 polymorphic proteins excluded 0.61 to 0.89 of the possible dam-calf combinations in each sire group, leaving between 2 and 200 pedigree combinations per group to be solved by DNA fingerprinting. Of the 44 sire-dam-calf combinations tested by DNA fingerprinting, 22 were excluded, while four calves matched the parents at all bands. However, 16 pedigrees were equivocal, due to the fact that one or both parents were not in a lane directly adjacent to the calf on the fingerprinting gel. The low probability of exclusion of protein testing in some sire groups, combined with the practical limitation of having to run each possible pedigree combination side by side on DNA fingerprinting gels, mean that the present techniques do not provide a routine method for identifying the dam-calf pairings in red deer mating groups on farms.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 52, , 103-106, 1992
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