Guidelines for laboratories seeking accreditation for SNPs and STRs based parentage testing in cattle

In recent years, genomics has greatly increased its range of applications and its results are now a regular part of the evaluation process of the performances of farm animals.

The need of getting reliable high quality standards in bovine parentage testing is negatively affected by wrong parentage analysis, producing a negative impact on the estimation of genetic indexes and adversely affecting national and international genetic evaluations.

Following these considerations and for supporting its member organisations, ICAR decided to define minimum requirements for laboratories running DNA analyses for breeding purposes in cattle. Guidelines for accreditation are presently given for parentage testing in cattle based on microsatellite analyses and SNP-based analysis.

Laboratories requesting microsatellite- and/or SNP-based accreditation will have to apply by downloading from the ICAR website the necessary forms below listed, filling them out and emailing them to  DNA@icar.org

The last version of the forms must be filled out accurately and completely, providing necessary documentation as required. The application will be evaluated by a panel of Experts appointed by ICAR that will either approve it, request additional information, or reject it. In case of rejection, the applicant may submit a new form.

For both the above accreditations, applicants have to provide the ISAG membership number, issued at the most recent round organised by ISAG. Certifications can be provided in any language if a translation into English (even an in-house translation) is attached to the original documents.

Accreditation will be given for a two-year period, at the end of which a new application is to be completed and submitted after participation in additional ISAG comparison tests.

 

Rules for microsatellite and SNP-based testing parentage verification for cattle

 

Accreditation for the microsatellite-based parentage testing in cattle

For the laboratory accreditation for the microsatellite-based parentage testing in cattle, the following application form has to be considered:

 

Accreditation for the SNP-based parentage testing in cattle

For the laboratory accreditation for the SNPs-based parentage testing in cattle, the following application form has to be considered:

 

Already accredited laboratories

For the renewal of an already accredited laboratory, please complete the specific form available here

 

Check list of the documents to be submitted for the application

  1. Application form for the STR and/or SNP accreditation (or simplified form for the renewal of a previously accredited laboratory)
  2. ISAG Certificate for SNP
  3. ISAG Certificate STR
  4. ISO 17025 Certificate in original and
    • its translation into English (an in-house translation is also accepted)
    • Scope of the ISO 17025 Certificate in original and its translation into English (an in-house translation is also accepted) or
  5. Certificate ISO 9001 and
    • its translation in English (an in-house translation is also accepted)
  6. Certificate of the revision for the laboratory equipments for STR and SNP

 

PARTICIPATORY FEE

The participatory fee is organised on ICAR Member/Non ICAR Member criteria and summarised in the below tables:

Class of application Euros
ICAR Member Laboratory (Full or Associate) 300€
Non-ICAR Member Laboratory 1,000€
Priority submission (i.e.: application out of schedule) 1,500€

Flat fee covers both STR and/or SNP accreditation and in case a laboratory is interested in becoming an ICAR Member the instructions and the form for the submission are available here

NOTE

  1. Please be aware that from 2022 onwards, for ICAR accreditation to be granted to laboratories carrying out SNP genotyping ISO17025 accreditation will be a mandatory minimum requirement as per ICAR Guidelines.
  2. Please also be aware that from 2021, onwards for ICAR accreditation of SNP based Parentage verification this service will be directed through the ICAR service for the ICAR Parentage Analysis Accreditation for DNA Data Interpretation Centres.

 

Minimum requirements for accreditation of Microsatellite based and SNP-based parentage testing in cattle

The present Rules contain Minimum requirements for accreditation of Microsatellite based and SNP-based parentage testing in cattle.

1 – LABORATORY IDENTIFICATION

The applicant should be unambiguously identified by:

  1. Name of the laboratory.
  2. Institution if relevant.
  3. Address and Country.
  4. A reference person as well as all information necessary for quickly getting in touch with her/him is to be given.

 

2 – EDUCATION AND TRAINING OF LAB SUPERVISOR AND OPERATORS

The minimum requirements for education and training of laboratory supervisor and operators are:

  1. At least a bachelor degree in a scientific discipline is required to the laboratory head or supervisor.
  2. At least 5 years experience in molecular diagnostics is required to the laboratory senior operator.

Experience is considered a key factor both in data production and in the interpretation of results.

 

3 – EQUIPMENT

  1. Equipment used to run and score microsatellite is to be described.
  2. The year of purchase and last revision is to be made available, to check the appropriateness of technologies used and the following of a proper maintenance program ensuring the production of high quality data.
  3. Yearly revision is considered as a minimum requirement.
  4. A personal opinion on the performance of the laboratory set up available is asked to foresee the need for improvements in quality standards.

 

4 – CERTIFICATION

  1. International or national certification should be declared.
  2.  International certification will become a minimum requirement for ICAR accreditation within 3 years after the approval of these Rules.

 

5 – PARTICIPATION AND PERFORMANCE IN RING TEST

  1. The participation to international and national ring test is to be declared and the performance in these ring tests disclosed.
  2. The participation in at least two international ring tests is considered a minimum requirement.

The Committee of Experts, considering the structure of the ring test and the average performance of laboratories in the ring test and year, will decide performance thresholds.

 

6 – MICROSATELLITE MARKERS

  1. Name of all microsatellites typed on all animals (marker set I) and of the additional ones assayed in the case of unresolved parentage (marker set II) is to be declared, as well as the number of animals typed in the last two years.
  2. Minimum requirement is to use the complete set of 9 microsatellites recommended by ISAG (see Annex III) on all animals typed.
  3. The upgrade of the number of markers assayed on all animals to a minimum of 11 is envisaged in the short period, with the perspective of increasing this minimum requirement to the use of 16 microsatellites.
  4. d)  To ensure sufficient experience within the lab, a number of 500 animals analysed per year is set as minimum requirement for certification.
  5. Exclusion probability (2 parents and 1 parent) of each and every marker and of complete marker sets is to be calculated and declared.
  6. The type of population and the number of animals used for computations are to be described. ICAR recommends using Holstein as reference when possible. The ICAR Committee of Experts will evaluate that an appropriate PE is reached for accreditation, on the basis of the population analyzed.

 

7 – SNP MARKERS

  1. The name of all SNPs typed on all animals (marker set I) and of the additional markers assayed in the case of unresolved parentage (marker set II) must be declared, as well as the number of animals typed in at least the last two years.
  2. It is a minimum requirement to use at least 95 SNPs from the set recommended by ISAG (see Annex VI) on all animals typed.
  3. To ensure sufficient experience within the lab, genotyping 500 animals per year is set as a minimum requirement for accreditation.
  4. Exclusion probability (PE; 2 parents and 1 parent) of the complete marker sets used must be calculated and declared. The type of population and the number of animals (minimum 150) used for computations are to be described. ICAR recommends using Holstein as a reference group when possible. The ICAR Committee of Experts will evaluate that an appropriate PE is reached for accreditation, on the basis of the population analyzed.

 

8 – MARKER NOMENCLATURE

For Microsatellite Parentage

  1. Nomenclature of markers and SNP has to be described.
  2. Minimum requirement is the use of ISAG nomenclature at least for the ISAG marker set.

For SNP-based Parentage

  1. Nomenclature of markers must be described.
  2. ISAG nomenclature is required for the ISAG SNP marker

ICAR, Via Savoia 78, sc. A int. 3, 00198 Rome, Italy - Email: icar@icar.org