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AKC ENHANCES DNA CERTIFICATION TEST


New York, NY - The AKC is pleased to announce that an enhanced DNA Certification Test will become available August, 2003. This test is offered in collaboration with MMI Genomics (MMIG), the AKC's principal service provider of DNA testing. MMIG, an established leader in genomic technologies, has developed and validated a new, more advanced DNA marker system for canine testing.

The AKC DNA Certification test will now profile 14 genetic markers compared to the 10 markers previously reported on AKC DNA Certificates, producing a profile called the "SuperPlex-G." Thirteen of the genetic markers on the panel, including three new markers are a common type of inherited DNA markers -- called STRs --used in identification and parentage testing across all breeds. The fourth new marker is a canine gender marker. It tests for a gene on the sex chromosome, and will therefore differentiate between male and female. It will allow for gender to be verified via the test results.

The new markers will not only provide additional information with every DNA profile, but will allow for enhanced quality control. The development and validation of these additional markers took nearly a year and a half to complete and used the human genome and other DNA-sequence information to discover the corresponding canine- specific genes on the X and Y sex chromosomes. There is no additional cost or fee increase for this new AKC DNA profile. The price of a prepaid DNA Kit will remain $35, and the processing fee for a regular DNA kit will remain $40.

This new enhanced DNA profile is fully compatible with the existing profiles maintained in the AKC's DNA database because the same original 10 DNA markers used in the current AKC certificate will be included in the new SuperPlex-G panel. Those who wish to upgrade their existing 10-marker certificate with the new SuperPlex-G panel may do so for a fee without submitting a new DNA sample. Simply submit your upgrade request to AKC DNA Operations using a downloadable form found at www.akc.org.

The American Kennel Club through its DNA Program offers highly accurate and informative DNA testing services through DNA Certification. It is a powerful tool in ensuring reliable registration records. Tests are routinely used for individual identification, parentage testing and certification of pedigree records.

The AKC currently has a canine DNA database of over 250,000 DNA profiles, the largest of its kind in the world. For more information contact dna@akc.org or call 919-816-3508.