Livestock Cropping & Pasture General Farm

Cattle genetics and DNA Coding

Do we know the full code (i.e., sequence) of DNA for cattle and other livestock?

The full code set for an animal’s genome is comprised of about 2.7 billion connected bases. The genome of a number of species has been sequenced including humans, cattle, chickens, horses, and the platypus! Additional commercially important species such as sheep and swine are currently being sequenced.


How is an animal’s makeup (i.e., genotype) for a DNA marker determined?

An individual’s genotype is fixed at birth with the inheritance of one chromosomal copy from each of its parents. The animal’s genotype for the marker is determined by analyzing the DNA sequence variation at the marker location in the genome using high throughput DNA genotyping technologies that are routinely used around the world for a variety of applications.


Will an animal’s marker genotype change during its lifetime?

No, an individual’s genotype is unique and fixed not long after fertilization of an egg by a sperm, and remains fixed throughout its lifetime.  However, genetic expression varies throughout an animal’s life as genes are switched on and off by changing environment.


Read more about DNA Markers and how they relate to traits