Camelid Identification System

100% Accurate DNA Markers

About CIS

As the world’s Camelid industry forges into the 21st century, using DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) to verify parentage and ensure the accuracy of pedigrees has become an important part of preserving bloodlines in the Camelid industry.

The Camelid Identification System (CIS) was established to re-implement a non-profit, science-based DNA typing system. Partnering with the University of California Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL), UC Davis VGL is considered to be the leading animal DNA parentage verification laboratory in the world. Fewer than 1 in 10,000,000 errors occur in DNA samples recorded through VGL for hair follicle DNA typing. VGL is widely used by many breed registries for the same purpose.

VGL was a pioneer in the development of DNA-based animal parentage verification. In the early 1990s, VGL began the development of parentage tests using microsatellite DNA markers also referred to as STRs (short tandem repeats). VGL was the first animal parentage laboratory to offer DNA testing to the horse, cattle and Camelid industries in the mid-1990s and has since introduced DNA-based tests for elk, deer, dogs, cats, sheep, goats and primates. Utilizing this technology, the VGL has generated over 2 million DNA profiles. The International Society for Animal Genetics (ISAG) recognizes the parentage tests offered by VGL as international standards. The laboratory has been an active member of the ISAG since 1974 and takes part in the biannual horse, cattle, sheep/goat, cat and dog parentage comparison tests carried out under their auspices. The biannual ISAG meetings provide a venue for data comparison and the establishment of test standards for all animal parentage laboratories. The VGL has trained visiting scientists and technicians from laboratories in the US and abroad since the 1970s in both blood typing and DNA typing technologies. VGL is now considered the leading animal DNA parentage verification laboratory in the world.

CIS uses state-of the-art DNA hair follicle testing to profile Camelids and to determine parentage. Hair follicle DNA typing is similar to blood DNA typing for parentage. However, the process is easier, quicker and does not require a veterinarian to collect samples.

The CIS system employs a set of DNA markers that are unlike any other system. Our DNA markers are a combination of proven testing markers (established by VGL) and markers supplied by leading Camelid scientist including Dr. Wheeler and Dr. Penedo. The markers supplied by Dr. Wheeler indicate a direct DNA relation of the pure alpaca that traces directly back to the vicuna.

CIS is dedicated to establishing a DNA Camelid Data base that will help research scientist such as Dr. Wheeler and Dr. Penedo and other Camelid scientists across the globe to further help save endangered Camelid species as well as to improve the health and wellbeing of all Camelid species.