DNA Processing Office

Building W48

University of New England (UNE)

Armidale NSW 2351

Phone: 02 6773 3466

Email: sheepDNA@sheepcrc.org.au

As the genomic era gains momentum for the Australian sheep industry, the DNA Processing Office will continue to offer genotyping tests to industry. Breeders now have access to the 15K Sheep Genotyping, Parentage and Poll tests.

The 15K Sheep Genotyping test is suitable for the four major breeds of Merino, Poll Dorset, White Suffolk and Border Leicester. To utilise the 15K Genotyping test you need to be a member of Sheep Genetics and the animals need to be recorded with a minimum of sire pedigree in either LAMBPLAN or MERINOSELECT.

The Parentage and Poll tests can be used in any flock.



How to participate

  1. Read the information below on the tests available and decide which test is suitable for you.
  2. Click on the "Order Form" link to the right to set up an account or log in to your existing account and place order.
  3. When placing order you will be asked to choose a sample method:
    • Blood Cards - blood cards, sampling and payment instructions will be mailed to you from the DNA Processing Office.
    • Tissue Sampling Method (TSUs) - please contact Allflex Australia Pty Ltd to purchase your TSUs. Note: TSUs will need to be purchased at an additional cost to the price of the test.
  4. Take the samples as per the instructions, return them along with the order form and payment to the DNA Processing Office. A receipt will be issued on payment.
  5. Parentage and Poll tests results will be emailed to you by the DNA Processing Office within 6 weeks.
  6. The 15K Genotyping test results will be reported to you, within 10 weeks, through Sheep Genetics as Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBV's) and Research Breeding Values (RBV's). Note: The genotyping laboratory works in batches of 24, so smaller numbers may be delayed.


Blood Cards (minimum 10) $0.90 each (plus GST)
15K Sheep Genotyping Test $49.10 (plus GST)
Parentage Test $16.10 (plus GST)
Poll Test $16.10 (plus GST)





  • TSUs are not sold by the DNA Processing Office. Please contact Allflex Pty Ltd to purchase TSUs.  Note: TSUs will need to be purchased at an additional cost to the price of the test.
  • Results for the Poll test are provided at no additional cost for samples submitted for Parentage or 15K Genotyping tests.


Terms & Conditions

Please download the terms and conditions below.

DownloadTerms and conditions (220 KB)


Sheep Genotyping Test (15K)

The 15K Sheep Genotyping test is now the standard test used by industry to genotype animals. It is available for the four major breeds – Merino, Poll Dorset, White Suffolk and Border Leicester.  Through a process of “imputation”, the genomic results can be used to provide similar levels of accuracy to those achieved with the previous 50K product. The 50K test will still be used to obtain information on key sires for ongoing research and development purposes but is no longer available for purchase.

To test your animals you need to be a member of Sheep Genetics and the individual animals need to be entered into either the LAMBPLAN OR MERINOSELECT databases with a minimum of sire pedigree recorded.

The 15K Sheep Genotyping test will provide you with ASBV's for most of the traits currently provided by Sheep Genetics plus RBV's for new traits under development such as lean meat yield, intra muscular fat, shear force and dressing percentage.

Parentage information can also be included with the 15K Sheep Genotyping test. Please contact the DNA Processing Office for more information.


Parentage Test

The new SNP-based Parentage test is based on recent research conducted by the CRC, MLA and the International Sheep Genomic Consortium (ISGC). The Parentage test is suitable for all breeds of sheep.

Previously genotyped animals (either sheep genotyping or parentage/poll test) can be parentage tested without a new sample being submitted.

Important: Please ensure you indicate the sex of the progeny if you intend to use the genotype for future testing as a dam or sire.

Samples along with payment and documentation should be returned to the DNA Processing Office as soon as possible to ensure that you receive your results as quickly as possible. Results will be reported back to breeders within six weeks of receiving the DNA samples and payment.

Important: If your flock is enrolled in MERINOSELECT or LAMBPLAN it is your responsibility to submit pedigree information from the parentage test results to Sheep Genetics when you receive them.

We also recommend all Sheep Genetics members to use 16 digit ID's when submitting animals for parentage testing.

 The new SNP-based Parentage test has a number of advantages:

  • The test is expected to be more accurate than existing Parentage tests; and
  • The test is compatible with other SNP-based tests. This means that animals tested using the 15K Genotyping test will not need to be re-sampled by the breeder for parentage as the genotyping has already been recorded.

The parentage test can be used for ‘full pedigree’ – that is linking a lamb to its ewe and sire. Alternatively, breeders may choose to only link ram lambs with the rams. It is very important to collect samples from ALL of the animals that need to be matched up if possible. For example, failing to sample one or two sires may make it difficult to assign all of the lambs to their sires. The same applies to sampling ALL ewes if full pedigrees are requested.

If Artificial Insemination (AI) sires are used, no samples are available and if these sires have been previously genotyped, then these rams need be listed using the 16 digit Sheep Genetics unique ID code on the order form when returning.

If you are using rams that have already been genotyped using the 50K, 12K or 15K Genotying test, these do not need an additional test for use in Parentage analysis. However, you must ensure these rams are listed using the 16 digit code as potential sires on the order form when returning the progeny samples.

In a small number of cases the test will not be able to assign parentage to all progeny. This can occur because;

  • The animals are closely related
  • The batch size is too small for the algorithms to work effectively.

In general, better results will be achieved if;

  • Larger numbers of progeny are tested in the batch
  • At least 2 sires are nominated if possible (the more sires the better, these could include sires that have already been tested)
  • Where the sires submitted are closely related it is recommended that dams are also included
  • For smaller batch sizes the provision of a dam sample is advised

To match an individual animal with an individual sire it is recommended that you use the 15K Genotyping test.

Please contact the DNA Processing Office to discuss your individual Parentage requirements if you have any concerns regarding the batch size.


Poll Test

This test provides an opportunity for breeders to identify Polled/Horned sires and dams that will slow down progress towards a purely poll flock.

The Poll test is for use with Merinos. Research has validated the test in the Merino breed so while the test may be used in other breeds, we are unable to guarantee the results.

Breeders ordering either the Parentage test or the 15K Genotyping test will receive results for the Poll test at no additional cost as the Poll test forms part of the same set of SNPs that are used in the Parentage & the 15K Genotyping test.

Individual Poll test reports are now available for $2.20 (incl. GST) per head. These are suitable for sale pens and catalogues. Please contact the DNA Processing Office for more information.

Sheep Genotyping in 3 simple steps

Think sheep Sheep Genotyping Tests sound confusing ... CLICK HERE and Dr Stephen Lee will show you how in less than 60 seconds ... 

Practical Wisdom Notes / Fact Sheets

PW4.1 New Opportunities in Genetics and Genomics

Products & Training Resources

ASBV Pocket Guide

Australian Sheep Breeding Values - A guide for ram buyers

Marketing your sheep with genetic data

Reports, Articles and Presentations

Getting Started with Sheep Genetics

Sheep CRC Genomics Breakfast Workshop - LambEx 2012

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