A DNA test to sex ratite birds.

DNA-based sex tests now exist for many avian species. However, none of these tests are widely applicable to ratites. We present DNA sequence data for a locus that is W chromosome-linked in the kiwi, ostrich, cassowary, rhea, and emu. At the amino acid level, this sequence has significant homology to X-linked genes in platyfish and Caenorhabditis elegans. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers designed to this locus allow the assignment of sex in all species of living ratites.

Publication Types:

Evaluation Studies

PMID: 11972770 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Mol Ecol. 2002 Apr;11(4):851-6.

Available from Library of Congress


  1. Robin Jackson on June 28, 2020 at 1:58 pm

    I have an emu need it sexed

  2. Joseph Lindstrom on February 19, 2023 at 9:22 am

    How can I get my emus sexed from home?

  3. Hyde on August 27, 2023 at 10:27 pm

    Hi there I have 4 ostrich chicks I’d like dna sex tested. Can you tell me the cost per bird for a dna test kit?

  4. Deborah Stravato on December 8, 2023 at 8:25 am

    We have 4 emus that we hatched at home in late February 2023 and we would like to have them sexed. How do I obtain the kits, and what is the cost per bird, and how long does it take to receive the results?

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