Bouchard Livestock International is the Canadian Representative for MMI Tru Polled & Color Coat Testing. Tru-Polled™ is validated for use with Charolais, Gelbvieh, Hereford , Limousin , Salers and Simmental cattle. One of Tru-Polled™'s many benefits is that it can be used on cattle of any age.
What Types of Samples are Used?
A drop of blood blotted onto one of MMI Genomics' MicroCards is the preferred sample and collection method although you may also submit a semen sample. MMI Genomics can also use any archived samples originally submitted for another DNA test. Hair samples aren't usable for the Tru-Polled™ test.
How do I Collect Samples?
Everything you need for collecting test samples comes pre-packaged in Bouchard Livestock-MMI DNA Sample Collection Kit: a Sample Order Form; a MicroCard for collecting, handling, storing and shipping blood samples; an 18-gauge hypodermic needle; and easy-to-follow illustrated instructions.
How Do I Order a Sample Collection Kit?
E-mail orders can be placed through our website. Simply click the following link [firstname.lastname@example.org
]. Please be sure to include your name, shipping address, daytime phone number and the number of kits required. Tru-Polled™ orders can also be placed by phone to our office: Bouchard Livestock International 1-866-946-4999 - CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ONLY A SUBMISSION FORM.
How Do I Submit a Sample for Testing?
Store your MicroCards in a cool, dry place until you're ready to use them. In addition to providing a convenient way of collecting samples, these cards are well-suited for sample handling and processing in a high-throughput laboratory such as MMI Genomics.' The cards also provide a stable format for long-term DNA sample archiving; a benefit especially valuable should you wish to have other DNA tests performed on the animal in the future.
Before mailing your samples to us at Bouchard Livestock, double check your order to make sure your samples are identified and that your Tru-Polled™ Sample Order Form is completed and signed (incomplete or unsigned orders may be delayed or returned untested). Semen straws should also be labeled with the appropriate animal's identification and packaged so they are protected against bending or breakage during shipment.
Best of all, no special handling of the samples is required and both blood and semen samples can be shipped by regular mail to:
Bouchard Livestock International
Attn: Tru-Polled™ Testing
What's the Turn-Around Time for Getting Results?
Test results are available two weeks from the day the sample is processed. During peak season, November through April, DNA samples are processed on the first and third Monday of every month. Samples submitted in May through October, are processed on the first Monday of every month.
How Much Does the Test Cost?
Testing is $110.00 USDA per animal. There's an additional $5.00 fee for testing samples already archived at MMI Genomics.
When Do I Pay for the Test?
Bouchard Livestock will invoice you after the samples have been completed. (Note: Fees are waived when sample reports are inconclusive as explained below.)
How are the Test Results Reported?
To fully understand how test results determine whether an animal is horned, heterozygous polled or homozygous polled, it's important to know that every bovine has two copies of either the polled and/or the horned gene. One copy of each gene is inherited from the sire and the other from the dam. Horned animals have two copies of the recessive horned gene, while phenotypically (physically) polled animals will always have one or two copies of the dominant polled gene. Furthermore, animals with two copies of the dominant polled gene will produce only phenotypically polled offspring.
Based on the inheritance of horned vs. polled, the ideal candidates for Tru-Polled™ testing are those that are phenotypically polled and are from two polled parents. It's never necessary to test horned animals as their genotype is already known.
Tru-Polled™ results are reported in one of four categories:
1. Homozygous polled = two copies of the polled gene.
2. Heterozygous polled = one copy of the polled gene and one copy of the horned gene.
3. Horned = no copies of the polled gene, two copies of the horned gene.
4. Inconclusive = the test cannot determine if the animal has copies of either the horned gene or the polled gene.
Breeders can expect inconclusive results for 10 to 15 percent of the animals tested. An inconclusive result means that even though the sample was satisfactory and the lab was able to generate DNA marker genotypes, these genotypes weren't able to detect differences between the animal's horned or polled genes. New samples aren't necessary as inconclusive results will not change with a different sample from the same animal. Again, inconclusive tests will not result in charges.
How Accurate is the Test?
The development of the innovative Breed-Tru™ Program, of which Tru-Polled™ is a part, has earned MMI Genomics an industry-wide reputation for sound research and for providing consistent, accurate, reliable data. But even with their rigorous attention to detail and a Quality Control program second to none, MMI Genomics acknowledges that it's virtually impossible to eliminate all potential sources for error. You'll find a copy of MMI Genomics' disclaimer noting this information on your test report and on the Sample Submission Form. Whenever an animal is sold, MMI Genomics recommends that a copy of the test report, with the disclaimer, be given to the new owner.
MMI Genomics also reports that the Tru-Polled™ test cannot detect or provide genotypic information regarding the presence or absence of scurs or the scurred gene. Phenotypic classification of animals as horned, smooth polled or scurred is difficult because the distinction between horns and scurs may not be readily determined and because horns mask the presence of scurs.
Even with these considerations, MMI Genomics notes that the test itself is scientifically validated to an impressive 95 percent confidence level. With millions of samples processed through MMI Genomics' labs, you can feel confident that everything humanly and scientifically possible is being done to ensure the accuracy of your testing and report.