A region on chicken chromosome 2 affects both egg white thinning and egg weightMervi Honkatukiaa, Maria Tuiskula-Haavistoa, Dirk-Jan de Koningb, Anneli Virtaa, Asko Mäki-Tanilaa and Johanna Vilkkia
a Animal Production Research, MTT Agrifood Research Finland, 31600 Jokioinen, Finland
b Roslin Institute, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9PS, UK
(Received 28 February 2005; accepted 2 May 2005)
Abstract - We describe the results from genetic dissection of a QTL region on chicken chromosome 2, shown to affect egg weight and quality in an earlier genome scan of an F2 intercross between two divergent egg layer lines. As the 90% confidence intervals for the detected QTL covered tens of centiMorgans, new analyses were needed. The datasets were reanalysed with denser marker intervals to characterise the QTL region. Analysis of a candidate gene from the original QTL region, vimentin, did not support its role in controlling egg white thinning. Even after reanalysis with additional seven markers in the QTL area, the 90% confidence intervals remained large or even increased, suggesting the presence of multiple linked QTL for the traits. A grid search fitting two QTL on chromosome 2 for each trait suggested that there are two distinct QTL areas affecting egg white thinning in both production periods and egg weight in the late production period. The results indicate possible pleiotropic effects of some of the QTL on egg quality and egg weight. However, it was not possible to make a distinction between close linkage versus pleiotropic effects.
Key words: chicken / chromosome 2 / egg quality / egg weight / QTL mapping
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