With the objective of mapping quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for performance and carcass traits, an F2 chicken population was developed by crossing broiler and layer lines. A total of 2063 F2 chicks in 21 full-sib families were reared as broilers and slaughtered at 42 days of age. Seventeen performance and carcass traits were measured. Parental F(0) and F1 individuals were genotyped with 80 microsatellites from chicken chromosome 1 to select informative markers. Thirty-three informative markers were used for selective genotyping of F2 individuals with extreme phenotypes for body weight at 42 days of age (BW42). Based on the regions identified by selective genotyping, seven full-sib families (649 F2 chicks) were genotyped with 26 markers. Quantitative trait loci affecting body weight, feed intake, carcass weight, drums and thighs weight and abdominal fat weight were mapped to regions already identified in other populations. Quantitative trait loci for weights of gizzard, liver, lungs, heart and feet, as well as length of intestine, not previously described in the literature were mapped on chromosome 1. This F2 population can be used to identify novel QTLs and constitutes a new resource for studies of genes related to growth and carcass traits in poultry.
An F(2) resource population, derived from a broiler x layer cross, was used to map quantitative trait loci (QTL) for body weights at days 1, 35 and 41, weight gain, feed intake, feed efficiency from 35 to 41 days and intestinal length. Up to 577 F(2) chickens were genotyped with 103 genetic markers covering 21 linkage groups. A preliminary QTL mapping report using this same population focused exclusively on GGA1. Regression methods were applied to line-cross and half-sib models for QTL interval mapping. Under the line-cross model, eight QTL were detected for body weight at 35 days (GGA2, 3 and 4), body weight at 41 days (GGA2, 3, 4 and 10) and intestine length (GGA4). Under the half-sib model, using sire as common parent, five QTL were detected for body weight at day 1 (GGA3 and 18), body weight at 35 days (GGA2 and 3) and body weight at 41 days (GGA3). When dam was used as common parent, seven QTL were mapped for body weight at day 1 (GGA2), body weight at day 35 (GGA2, 3 and 4) and body weight at day 41 (GGA2, 3 and 4). Growth differences in chicken lines appear to be controlled by a chronological change in a limited number of chromosomal regions.
An F(2) population established by crossing a broiler male line and a layer line was used to map quantitative trait loci (QTL) affecting abdominal fat weight, abdominal fat percentage and serum cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations. Two genetic models, the line-cross and the half-sib, were applied in the QTL analysis, both using the regression interval method. Three significant QTL and four suggestive QTL were mapped in the line-cross analysis and four significant and four suggestive QTL were mapped in the half-sib analysis. A total of five QTL were mapped for abdominal fat weight, six for abdominal fat percentage and four for triglyceride concentration in both analyses. New QTL associated with serum triglyceride concentration were mapped on GGA5, GGA23 and GG27. QTL mapped between markers LEI0029 and ADL0371 on GGA3 for abdominal fat percentage and abdominal fat weight and a suggestive QTL on GGA12 for abdominal fat percentage showed significant parent-of-origin effects. Some QTL mapped here match QTL regions mapped in previous studies using different populations, suggesting good candidate regions for fine-mapping and candidate gene searches.
The objective of this study was to determine if a diet supplemented simultaneously with vitamins C and E would alleviate the negative effects of heat stress, applied between 28 and 42 days of age, on performance, carcass and meat quality traits of broiler chickens. A total of 384 male broiler chickens were assigned to a completely randomized design, with a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement (diet with or without vitamin supplementation and two ambient temperatures plus a pair-feeding group) and 16 replicates. Chickens were kept in thermoneutral conditions up to 28 days of age. They were then housed in groups of four per cage, in three environmentally controlled chambers: two thermoneutral (22.5 and 22.6°C) and one for heat stress (32°C). Half the chickens were fed a diet supplemented with vitamins C (257 to 288 mg/kg) and E (93 to 109 mg/kg). In the thermoneutral chambers, half of the chickens were pair-fed to heat stressed chickens, receiving each day the average feed intake recorded in the heat stress chamber in the previous day. Meat physical quality analyses were performed on the pectoralis major muscle. No ambient temperature × diet supplementation interaction effects were detected on performance, carcass, or meat quality traits. The supplemented diet resulted in lower growth performance, attributed either to a carry-over effect of the lower initial BW, or to a possible catabolic effect of vitamins C and E when supplemented simultaneously at high levels. Heat stress reduced slaughter and carcass weights, average daily gain and feed intake, and increased feed conversion. Growth performance of pair-fed chickens was similar to that of heat stressed chickens. Exposure to heat stress increased carcass and abdominal fat percentages, but reduced breast, liver and heart percentages. Pair-fed chickens showed the lowest fat percentage and their breast percentage was similar to controls. Heat stress increased meat pH and negatively affected meat color and cooking loss. In pair-fed chickens, meat color was similar to the heat stressed group. Shear force was not influenced by heat stress, but pair-fed chickens showed the tenderest meat. In conclusion, reduction in growth performance and negative changes in meat color in heat stressed chickens were attributed to depression in feed intake, whereas negative changes in body composition, higher meat pH and cooking loss were credited to high ambient temperature per se. Diet supplementation with vitamins C and E as antioxidants did not mitigate any of these negative effects.
We present a mathematical model for the spatial dynamics of DNA replication. Using this model we determine the probability distribution for the time at which each chromosomal position is replicated. From this we show, contrary to previous reports, that mean replication time curves cannot be used to directly determine origin parameters. We demonstrate that the stochastic nature of replication dynamics leaves a clear signature in experimentally measured population average data, and we show that the width of the activation time probability distribution can be inferred from this data. Our results compare favorably with experimental measurements in Saccharomyces cerevisae.
We conducted a two-way selection experiment in a composite rabbit population to investigate the responses to selection for postweaning ADG and feed conversion (FC). Two generations of crossing, followed by four generations of random pair matings, preceded three generations of selection. Selection was practiced within four lines: high-feed conversion (HFC), low-feed conversion (LFC), high gain (HG), and low gain (LG). Data on 1,446 rabbits from the random mating and selection generations were fitted to an animal model to estimate heritabilities of and the genetic correlation between ADG and FC. The two-trait model included rabbit and common litter random effects and line, generation, and sex fixed effects. Estimates of heritability of ADG and FC were .48 and .29, respectively, and the genetic correlation between them was -.82. Common litter environmental effects accounted for a proportion of .11 and .13 of the phenotypic variation of the two traits, respectively. For ADG (in g/d) the regressions of mean breeding values on generation number during the selection period were 1.23 +/- .12 (P < .01) in the HG line and -.86 +/- .12 (P < .01) in the LG line; the regressions for FC (in g feed/g gain) were -.07 +/- .01 (P < .01) in the HFC line and .03 +/- .01 (P < .05) in the LFC line. Selection for ADG was effective in improving ADG and FC.
An F2 experimental population, developed from a broiler layer cross, was used in a genome scan of QTL for percentage of carcass, carcass parts, shank and head. Up to 649 F2 chickens from four paternal half-sib families were genotyped with 128 genetic markers covering 22 linkage groups. Total map length was 2630 cM, covering approximately 63% of the genome. QTL interval mapping using regression methods was applied to line-cross and half-sib models. Under the line-cross model, 12 genome-wide significant QTL and 17 suggestive linkages for percentages of carcass parts, shank and head were mapped to 13 linkage groups (GGA1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 18 and 27). Under the paternal half-sib model, six genome-wide significant QTL and 18 suggestive linkages for percentages of carcass parts, shank and head were detected on nine chicken linkage groups (GGA1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 12, 14, 15 and 27), seven of which seemed to corroborate positions revealed by the previous model. Overall, three novel QTL of importance to the broiler industry were mapped (one significant for shank% on GGA3 and two suggestive for carcass and breast percentages on GGA14 and drums and thighs percentage on GGA15). One novel QTL for wings% was mapped to GGA3, six novel QTL (GGA1, 3, 7, 8, 9 and 27) and suggestive linkages (GGA2, 4, and 5) were mapped for head%, and suggestive linkages were identified for back% on GGA2, 11 and 12. In addition, many of the QTL mapped in this study confirmed QTL previously reported in other populations.
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