AGRANIS is a service laboratory in Laval, France, that specializes in milk sample analysis using an innovative automated technique for determining the somatic cell count (SCC) of each cow in a herd from a bulk tank milk sample called GénoCellules®. The SCC is quantified as the number of cells/ml of milk, and is used as an indicator of quality. Generally, the SCC is determined by flow cytometry, requiring analysis of individual milk samples from each cow in a herd, which involves a large number of samples. However, prior genotyping of cartilage samples from each cow in a herd makes it possible to subsequently determine the SCC of each cow in a single bulk tank milk sample.
As part of this process AGRANIS uses Nucleospin Tissue 96 kits (Macherey-Nagel) for DNA extraction of both cartilage and bulk milk samples on a Fluent® Automation Workstation equipped with an eight-channel Air FCA™, a Robotic Gripper Arm™, a BioShake® 3000-T elm (Quantifoil Instruments) for heating, shaking and homogenization of samples, and a Te-VacS™ module with a customer-specific suction force profile to optimize the process. The automated protocol has enabled AGRANIS to carry out twice as many analyses in the same time as with their previous approach. The enhanced speed enables reliable batch processing of 96 samples in just two hours, and several plates per day.