Sample Storage
Submitting a Project
Deer Parentage
Data Ownership
Our Team
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Sample Collection Methods

Pulled Hair is a good source of DNA. The harder the hair is to pull, the better the sample will be (we have found that tail hairs work the best). A handful of approximately 50 hairs will be adequate. Never send shed hairs.
Bone and antler samples can be a good source of DNA assuming that they have not decayed while they dried out. Collect samples by drilling into the core of the bone or antler to the full depth of a 3mm (1/8") drill bit. Take care not to burn the sample as you drill.
Semen from semen straws can be a generous source of DNA if well preserved, even when the count is too low for use in AI. Semen from used straws can also be used if the AI technician does not push the plug all the way through. With used straws you will also need to send us a sample of the female that the straw was used on as she will have contaminated the straw; we need to know which data came from her. Spot semen on a q-tip or piece of paper and allow it to dry, then store in an unwaxed paper envelope.

Sample Storage

Clearly label all samples in individual unwaxed paper envelopes, and store in a dry dark place (like a cupboard) until ready to send. Do not use plastic bags.

Contamination with Human DNA

The microsatellite markers that we use will not work on humans. Therefore, we do not think it is necessary to wear gloves or a face mask while handling samples.

What we Need With Your Samples

Photo courtesy of Kelly Pittenger, Thunder Valley WhitetailsPlease provide payment in advance, along with a complete list of all potential parents to be included in each search group. For example, a list of the does in a given pen, along with the fawns born in that pen. Year of birth and sex are required for each animal before parentage searches can be performed. Forms are available by FAX, download (Game Farm Form) (Game Farm Sampling info), or through the mail. We will also mail sample collection envelopes on request.

Pricing and Turnaround Time

As of January, 2011, parentage analysis for white-tailed deer and elk was priced at $70 (CDN or US) per sample, including DNA extraction and printed certification of pedigree. There are no surcharges for extra parentage searches, change of ownership or reprint certificates. Turnaround time is three weeks after receipt of samples, information and payment. Rush jobs will be considered on a case by case basis and at no extra charge.

How to Contact Us

Through the post office

Wildlife Genetics International
P.O. Box 274
Nelson, BC V1L 5P9

Using a courier (e.g. FedEx)

Wildlife Genetics International
Suite 200, 182 Baker St.
Nelson, BC V1L 4H2

Telephone (toll free): 1-888-352-3563 ext. 223
Telephone (local): 250-352-3563 ext. 223
Facsimile: 250-352-3567
Email: r
In person: Suite 200 (alley entrance), 182 Baker St., Nelson, BC

If your samples are perishable or irreplaceable use a major courier (FedEx is especially good with international shipments) and ship early in the week. We also recommend storing duplicate samples to protect yourself in the rare occurence that your samples are lost enroute.

Customs Form and Permits

International shipments may require a form declaring contents and value. The value indicates the amount that WGI is paying for the samples, which is zero. Declaration of anything other than a nominal value (e.g. $1) will delay shipment and will cause assessment of duty and taxes, which will be billed back to customers.

We do not normally accept samples that require cooling. See the main page on sample types for details on sample preparation and storage.

How we Treat Your Property

We recognize that the samples which we receive, as well as the DNA that we extract and data we generate, are the valuable and confidential property of the person who submitted those samples. That being said, our registry functions best when everyone has clear and easy access to information from other farms. Our goal is to create an open forum, but if you would prefer permission be sought before samples or data are distributed to another party or used in a parentage search for another customer, simply check the appropriate box on the submission form or contact us and request a permission hold.

We will keep your samples and your extracted DNA for five years after we complete your project. If you want them kept longer please ask us to send them back to you. DNA is stored frozen and samples are stored under conditions appropriate to the sample type. Electronic copies of results are maintained in permanent archives on three hard drives in separate locations.

Frequently Asked Questions

[1] What do I need to send to with my samples?

Each sample must be in its own labeled paper envelope. We need a list of all samples submitted, their tag numbers and/or names, birth years and sex along with a brief description of the parentage comparisons you would like made, including any AI sires you may have used. Please include all your relevant contact information and the name of your farm. A project submission form that simplifies all these requirements is available (download here). Results are not released until payment for service has been made so we strongly suggest that you include payment with your samples (we accept personal cheques and money orders). Please contact us for current pricing and available discount

[2] What will I receive with my results package?

Your results package will be retuned by mail or e-mail depending on your preference and will include a results summary page, a registry certificate for each animal and a six generation pedigree chart for each animal. Sample collection envelopes will also be mailed to you upon request.

[3] What type of information is collected when a sample is analyzed?

DNA is isolated from the sample and is analyzed at 21 variable regions known as microsatellite loci (sometimes referred to as markers). The genetic profiles (genotypes) generated from these regions are used to identify individuals and to determine parentage. WGI also provides information on all potential parents that match or nearly match, thereby allowing the producer to assess our parentage assignment.

[4] Do I need to wear gloves when taking samples from my animals?

You will not contaminate the sample with your own DNA if you do not wear gloves. It is more important to remove hairs sticking to your fingers/hands before you take a new sample to prevent cross contamination.

[5] What type of sample material works best?

Hair samples are the easiest to collect and produce the most reliable results. If hair samples cannot be obtained antler drillings or biopsy darts can be used. Semen straws may also be an option with appropriate collection techniques.

[6] If I can obtain samples from all animals on my farm, what is the likelihood that WGI can confirm parentage of all the offspring?

The best scenario for determining parentage is when samples are provided for all potential dams and sires. When sires and dams are unrelated, it is usually possible to assign each offspring to a single set of parents. As the relatedness of dams and sires increases (sisters and daughters bred to brothers and fathers), there is greater chance that an offspring will assign to more than one set of potential parents. Breeders can assist us by supplying information such as which animals are in the same pen, which dams were exposed to which males and which dams or sires cannot be the parents of any offspring.

[7] Can DNA profiles be used to infer relatedness between siblings if no samples can be provided for any parents?

Suppose: Parent 1 genotype: 100 110 and Parent 2 genotype: 114 116

They can have the possible offspring:

A) 100 114 B) 100 116 C) 110 114 D) 110 116

In most cases, determining if two individuals are siblings is not possible because siblings have the possibility of sharing between 0 - 100% of their genotypes. Therefore, we may find two siblings that share no alleles (such as offspring A & D or B & C).

If you had many known offspring from the same dam or sire, you may be able to deduce the genotype of a parent. From this information, one can determine if more than one sire would be needed to explain the genotypes of all the offspring.

[8] Can you identify grandparents/aunts/uncles etc. of my deer?

No. Relationships other than parent and offspring can only be built up by creating unbroken multi-generational pedigrees.

[9] Can you compare animals profiled at Wildlife Genetics with animals profiled at DNA Solutions in Oklahoma?

We use the same marker system as DNA Solutions, plus an additional 7 highly variable markers. This allows us to convert genotypes generated by DNA Solutions and use them in parentage searches. That being said, we would much rather receive a new sample for testing than rely on the DNA conversion. A new sample allows us to compare samples at all 21 markers, giving you greater accuracy. It also allows us to double check any suspicious results. If a sample has been previously analyzed at DNA Solutions we will retest it in our lab for free (within reason of course). If a new sample cannot be obtained we will do our best to obtain results from the DNA Solutions genotype alone.

[10] If I only have a sample from my back-up sire, can WGI determine if an offspring was sired by artificial insemination or by the back-up buck?

WGI has the genotypes for many breeding sires on record, so there is a very good chance that we already have the AI sire you are looking for. Otherwise, semen straws may provide an alternative method of obtaining samples from such sires. If samples exist for only one male, the parentage certificate will state whether or not the offspring was sired by the male from which a sample was procured. By default, the offspring that does not assign to this male was sired by the alternate sire; however without a sample, the certificate will not comment on other parentage possibilities.



Wildlife Genetics International
Ph: 250-352-3563
Fax: 250-352-3567

Email: info@wildlifegenetics.ca