Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Geneticists tell ostrich farmers the secrets of sex

16.10.2002


Research published in the online journal, BMC Biotechnology reports on a new, large-scale technique for distinguishing between male and female ostrich chicks using DNA extracted from feathers. This new technique will remove the need for invasive procedures currently in use to sex-type ostriches and allow breeders to discover the sex of their chicks much earlier. Details of this new technique can now be read by all interested parties because of the decision of the authors to publish in the open access journal, BMC Biotechnology.



Although native to Africa, Ostriches are now farmed all over the world for their meat, feathers and hide. Ostriches, like many bird species, show few external differences between the sexes. In the 1960’s a surgical technique was developed to tell male and female birds apart, which involved a small operation under anaesthetic. However, this procedure can result in bleeding and infection, as well as being stressful for the birds. In addition, ostrich chicks must be around three months old before their sex can be distinguished in this way.

For most birds genetic tests have largely replaced surgery as a means of determining the sex of a chick. However, genetic tests are usually based on differences between genes carried on sex chromosomes. Unfortunately, the sex chromosomes in ostriches are very similar making these sort of genetic tests useless. Whilst some new tests have been devised, they are not suitable for the large-scale analyses that are needed by commercial ostrich breeders.


To solve this problem, researchers from Brazil have devised a fast, large-scale technique, which can be used to sex-type ostriches from feathers. They used feathers rather than blood samples because it is more practical for farmers and less stressful for the birds to collect feather samples. The procedure involves a genetic technique known as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) which can "amplify" fragments of DNA that are specific to male or female ostriches. The researchers used their technique to sex-type 96 five-day-old ostrich chicks. Three months later, the sex of the chicks was also determined by using the traditional surgical technique. To their delight the researchers found that there was 100% agreement between the new genetic technique and the traditional surgical procedure, confirming that their method worked.

"We have established a fast, safe and inexpensive procedure for large-scale sex-typing of ostriches using DNA extracted from feathers. This procedure will be useful the gender identification of chicks in the first days of nestling life", explained the authors.

Gordon Fletcher | BioMed Central

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Colorectal cancer risk factors decrypted
13.07.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung

nachricht Algae Have Land Genes
13.07.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Research finds new molecular structures in boron-based nanoclusters

13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Algae Have Land Genes

13.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>