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 Human skin is an important source of ammonia emissions
27.05.2020 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie

nachricht Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme
27.05.2020 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme

In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".

Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...

Im Focus: New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI

Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...

Im Focus: I-call - When microimplants communicate with each other / Innovation driver digitization - "Smart Health“

Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.

When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...

Im Focus: When predictions of theoretical chemists become reality

Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.

Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...

Im Focus: Rolling into the deep

Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

International Coral Reef Symposium in Bremen Postponed by a Year

06.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

New 5G switch provides 50 times more energy efficiency than currently exists

27.05.2020 | Information Technology

Return of the Blob: Surprise link found to edge turbulence in fusion plasma

27.05.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Upwards with the “bubble shuttle”: How sea floor microbes get involved with methane reduction in the water column

27.05.2020 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>