by Keva Allen, AKC DNA Program Manager
The American Kennel Club DNA Program is proud to announce an upgrade to our DNA Profile Panel, which has been in use for over 20 years. This upgrade harnesses newer technology to provide a more robust and flexible panel to serve the growing needs of the registry. Starting December 1, 2022, the AKC DNA Profile platform will switch from an STR panel of 14 markers to a SNP panel with 201 markers.
- Because these profiles come from different technologies, STR DNA Profiles are not compatible for parentage evaluation with the SNP DNA Profiles.
- To ease the transition, the AKC is waiving the $200 Multi-Sire Litter Fee starting December 1, 2022.
- The AKC can run compatible profiles when needed. The AKC Parentage Evaluation Service provides parentage assessments for $50, which will include comparing sires, dams, and offspring across different panels. Please expect 4-6 weeks for processing. Please plan accordingly.
WHY IS THE AKC CHANGING TECHNOLOGY PLATFORMS?
The AKC’s current profile panel uses Short Tandem Repeats (STRs) – DNA markers found throughout the genome and often used for testing parentage and studying populations. Over the two decades of its implementation, Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) have now become the industry standard for identification, parentage testing, and health testing. This upgrade will provide our customers with the best of the new technology available. The AKC SNP DNA Profile Panel uses 200 SNPs and 1 gender marker and the AKC STR DNA Panel uses 13 STRs and 1 gender marker. Dr. Claire Wiley, Executive Director of the AKC DNA Program, is enthusiastic about this change. “Our priority is to protect the registry, and the AKC DNA Program has invested years of robust research to assure that this upgrade improves the unique identification of our dogs.”
HOW DOES THIS UPGRADE CHANGE THE SUBMISSION PROCESS?
The DNA submission process (cheek swabs) remains the same. Changes occur only in the interpretation of results. Both profiles provide unique identification for each dog.
HOW IS PARENTAGE ASSESSED WITH THE UPGRADED SNP DNA PROFILES?
For both STR and SNP DNA Profiles, parentage of a sire/dam is considered excluded when the alleles at two or more markers are excluded. For STR Profiles, only 13 markers of a sire, dam and pup are evaluated. For the SNP Profiles, all 200 markers need to be evaluated. Because the process with the SNP Profiles is longer, please consider using the AKC Parentage Evaluation Service for $50. This service includes comparing sires, dams, and pups across different panels. Please expect 4-6weeks for processing. The AKC is also waiving the $200 Multi-Sire Litter Fee to help with this transition. You can still check parentage on your own using the Genotype Analysis Table (found in downloadable forms on our website, www.akc.org) to compare genotypes of your dogs.
IF YOUR DOG HAS ALREADY HAS A DNA PROFILE WITH STRs, DO YOU HAVE TO BUY A NEW SNP DNA PROFILE?
The short answer is no. Moving forward from December 1, 2022, we hope to build our database with the SNP DNA Profiles so that the STR DNA Profiles gradually phase out. We hope to have a smooth transition, but we appreciate your patience with the upgrade. A new SNP DNA Profile will be required only for assessing parentage across platforms, but the AKC can run compatible profiles when needed.
I AM PLANNING A LITTER THAT WILL NEED PARENTAGE ASSESSMENT, BUT THE PARENTS ALREADY HAVE STR DNA PROFILES. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
If you are planning a litter that will require DNA for parentage assessment, please plan ahead by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance.
The AKC is committed to assisting customers with a smooth transition. If you have any questions, please visit us at dna.akc.org for more information, or email us at email@example.com.