Brazil is a major producer and exporter of beef, with a herd of approximately 210 million animals. For the meat industry, a reliable animal traceback from its origin to the consumer market is paramount. Of all available identification systems, DNA is the only one that survives the slaughterhouse and reaches the dish of the consumer. DNA polymorphisms are already used for cattle traceback, but primarily for the subspecies Bos taurus taurus. However, in Brazil, another subspecies, B. taurus indicus predominates. We describe here the development of a DNA traceback method designed primarily for B. taurus indicus (Zebu), without leaving B. taurus taurus aside. We used insertion/deletion (indel) polymorphisms, which have the advantage of being simple and easily automatable, since in most cases, the variable loci are biallelic.
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