MOLECULAR GENETICS SERVICES
GENETIC TRACEABILITY WITHIN THE CHAIN
Controls of the ordinary traceability at the critical points of the productive meat and milk chain for which, by accident or due to its processing, the association between the animal and its matriculation number is lost. The genetic traceability supports the common traceability by comparing the genotype obtained from the DNA of the reference sample and that from the test sample.
The analysis of the genotype is done by means of the analysis of the polymorphic molecular markers: the microsatellites and SNP. For the following species there are protocols of analysis: cattle, horses, buffalos and pigs.
ANALYSIS OF THE MYOSTATIN GENE
The myostatin gene (MSTN gene or GDF8) encodes for a protein which plays an important role in the negative control of muscle growth. Mutations lead to a muscular hypertrophy or to a characteristic described as “double muscled” in a wide variety of bovine species. The analysis is conducted by Real Time PCR making use of a quick test, developed in the laboratory, for the identification of the point mutation typical for the Piedmontese species. This type of research tool could also be developed for other meat-producing breeds.
SEX RATIO ANALYSIS IN BOVINE SEMEN
Analysis of the genes related to sex determination to quantify the sex ratio in sexed bovine semen. The analysis is done in Real Time PCR by means of a quick test which allows the quantification of the spermatozoa carrying the X Chromosome in comparison to those carrying the Y Chromosome.
SPECIES IDENTIFICATION IN FOOD (FOOD & FEEDSTUFFS)
Molecular genetic analysis used to offer the final customer (men or domestic animal) certainty about the actual correspondence between what is declared as species on the label of the product and the composition of that very same product. The main goal is to exclude possible fraud (having replaced the species indicated by one which costs less) and to give the customer the possibility to purchase according to his style of living (religion, diet, health, etc.).
The survey is done both on raw and cooked meat.
IDENTIFICATION OF MICROBIAL SPECIES
Molecular genetic tests used to determine the pathogens in food (IV gamma salads, fresh pasta, etc.) or in the food production/packaging process to control and ensure the safety of the food chain. The mail goal is to be able to guarantee the consumer a safe food product.
The analytical phases consist in the extraction of DNA and the amplification of sequences specific for the target micro-organism.
CLASSIFICATION OF MILK AND OTHER OVINE PRODUCTS
Molecular genetic test for the quantification of the gene polymorphisms of the prion protein present in the sheep milk and in the derived cheese. In sheep, the gene polymorphisms of the prion protein are directly linked to the various levels of resistance/susceptibility to Scrapie. The test makes it possible to determine the percentage of ARR alleles, comparing it with the percentage of the ARQ alleles, present in the product.