The Onderstepoort Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, Onderstepoort was formerly known as the Blood Typing Laboratory and changed to DNA typing in 2001. The laboratory is a service-driven and self-funding unit and is run on current and general business principles. It fulfils various roles including an academic support role for postgraduate students interested in applied veterinary genetics, research of genetic diseases in various animals and development of tests and protocols that can be applied in the service division.
The service division consists mainly of a DNA profiling and parentage testing component, forensic DNA testing in animals, testing of specific genetic diseases and traits in animals, genotyping for population analysis and some pathogen testing of equines via the laboratories association with the Equine Research Centre.
The Vision and Mission of the OPVGL:
To provide a DNA typing service that exceeds the requirements of the customer in terms of efficiency and quality, based on veterinary principles and considering the animal and its environment holistically.
To maintain an annual growth rate in terms of services rendered and technical competency that reflects the international developments in the field of veterinary genomic and diagnostic genetics.
To support and promote the welfare and wellbeing of animals by providing a forensic testing service and by research in the area of genetic disease, pathogen detection and population analysis.
To provide an environment in which staff and selected students can develop and use various skills to contribute to the overall objectives of the laboratory and promote the University of Pretoria locally and internationally in the field of applied veterinary genetics .
To contribute to the training of veterinarians in the rapidly expanding science of molecular genetics and provide an up-to-date DNA testing service to the Veterinary Faculty and practicing veterinarians.
Castle Lager, Mark Boucher and the Veterinary Genetics Lab put rhinos in safe hands - 19/09/2014
Cricket icon Mark Boucher is not only a champion sportsman, but also someone who is committed to playing his part to protect rhinos from extinction. After retiring from cricket, he partnered with Castle Lager to set up the Castle Lager Boucher Legacy – Rhino in Safe Hands. Boucher chose to specifically support UP’s Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) and aims to raise enough money to register all South Africa’s rhinos onto the DNA database of the VGL, known as RhODIS.
Unlocking the secrets of lightning - 19/09/2014
In South Africa, approximately 80 to 100 people die each year as a result of lightning strikes, and approximately seven times as many people are struck and survive. Dr Ryan Blumenthal, a senior specialist in the Department of Forensic Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Pretoria, has spent over ten years researching the effects of lightning on the human and the animal body and is very knowledgeable on the risks associated with this capricious and unpredictable natural phenomenon.