Changes to the genomic service agreement between MLA and your genotyping provider

Changes to the genomic service agreements


There have been key updates to the agreements between MLA and your genomic provider to enhance the provision of genomic results and accommodate the large growth in this area.

In 2021-22 alone, over 130,000 animals were genotyped, whilst more than 60,000 were tested on a parentage product. These animals, along with all other animals genotyped in previous years contribute to a large and rapidly growing Sheep Genetics genomics database service.


Figure 1: Count of Genotypes processed each year (Source: Sheep Genetics Annual Outcomes Report, 2021-22).

With the significant increase in genotyping, the delivery of the genomics pipeline has been reviewed. Sheep Genetics works closely with the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU) to deliver the genomics database and its associated products through Sheep Genetics. This pipeline was first developed and expanded to more providers following the conclusion of the Sheep CRC in 2019.

Since 2019, MLA has subsidised the cost of running and developing the Sheep Genetics genomics pipeline. With large-scale genomic testing now occurring across industry the delivery model has been reviewed and updated. The genomic database service will run as a full cost recovery model from 1st July 2023. As a result, there will be an increase in the cost of a genotype that is processed as part of the Sheep Genetics genomics database. The new price is $1.85 excl GST.

This will charge will be billed to your genomic provider that sends your samples, on your behalf, to the Sheep Genetics genomics database.

Sheep Genetics has also worked with our genotyping providers to make additional updates to the delivery of genomic services. A list of genotyping providers that are eligible to submit genotypes to Sheep Genetics and the services they provide can be found here. Additional updates that will come into effect under the new agreement include:

  • An increase to the number SNPs required to deliver a Poll/Horn result to ensure a high degree of accuracy and consistency across genomic products.
  • The removal of some scrapie and THEM as genetic conditions reported by MLA.
  • Additional services will be billed at an hourly rate. This may include orders that undergo multiple parentage re-runs and parentage orders that contain animals historically tested on sequenom tests.

Genotyping is an important tool that can be used as part of the suite of toolbox that can be used to drive genetic progress. Some useful tips when considering genotyping and sampling animals include:

  • Ensure that all samples are taken with care and to the providers recommendation to ensure that they are a useable sample.
  • Ensure that all possible sires and dams are listed on a DNA parentage order to prevent animals not receiving a match.
  • Allow an appropriate amount of time between taking the test and submitting to receiving results.

Utilise and read the Sheep Genetics help documentation available on the Sheep Genetics website under the Resources, Genomics section.