Genome wide association study on feed conversion ratio using imputed sequence data in chickens

Objective: Feed consumption contributes a large percentage for total production costs in the poultry industry. Detecting genes associated with feeding traits will be of benefit to improve our understanding of the molecular determinants for feed efficiency. The objective of this study was to identify candidate genes associated with feed conversion ratio (FCR) via genomewide association study (GWAS) using sequence data imputed from single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) panel in a Chinese indigenous chicken population.

Methods: A total of 435 Chinese indigenous chickens were phenotyped for FCR and were genotyped using a 600K SNP genotyping array. Twenty-four birds were selected for sequencing, and the 600K SNP panel data were imputed to whole sequence data with the 24 birds as the reference. The GWAS were performed with GEMMA software.

Results: After quality control, 8,626,020 SNPs were used for sequence based GWAS, in which ten significant genomic regions were detected to be associated with FCR. Ten candidate genes, ubiquitin specific peptidase 44, leukotriene A4 hydrolase, ETS transcription factor, R-spondin 2, inhibitor of apoptosis protein 3, sosondowah ankyrin repeat domain family member D, calmodulin regulated spectrin associated protein family member 2, zinc finger and BTB domain containing 41, potassium sodium-activated channel subfamily T member 2, and member of RAS oncogene family were annotated. Several of them were within or near the reported FCR quantitative trait loci, and others were newly reported.

Conclusion: Results from this study provide valuable prior information on chicken genomic breeding programs, and potentially improve our understanding of the molecular mechanism for feeding traits.

Keywords: Genome-wide Association Study (GWAS); Imputed Whole Sequence Data; Feed Conversion Ratio; Chicken

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Genome wide association study on feed conversion ratio using imputed sequence data in chickens

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