Historical Article

Research on animal blood groups and biochemical polymorphisms at Onderstepoort (1956-1990) : historical article

D.R. Osterhoff
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 81, No 3 | a134 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v81i3.134 | © 2010 D.R. Osterhoff | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 May 2010 | Published: 18 May 2010

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The introduction and wide use of artificial insemination in cattle in the 1950s led to a need for accurate parentage identification. Blood group determination by means of the newly emerging scientific discipline called immunogenetics provided the answer. A blood group laboratory was consequently established at Onderstepoort in 1956, initially concentrating on the production of blood typing reagents. Once established the technology was also applied to studies on a variety of problems in various animals as summarised in this paper. Investigations include zygosity in cattle twins, blood transfusion in domestic animals, breed relationships, genetic polymorphisms and the identification of useful genetic markers for production and disease parameters in breeding programmes.


blood groups; breed relationships; genetic markers; genetic polymorphisms; immunogenetics


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