Free Access
Genet. Sel. Evol.
Volume 39, Number 1, January-February 2007
Page(s) 73 - 89
Genet. Sel. Evol. 39 (2007) 73-89
DOI: 10.1051/gse:2006029

Associations of myostatin gene polymorphisms with performance and mortality traits in broiler chickens

Xianghai Yea, Stewart R. Brownb, Kátia Nonesc, Luiz L. Coutinhoc, Jack C.M. Dekkersa and Susan J. Lamonta

a  Department of Animal Science and Center for Integrated Animal Genomics, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
b  Aviagen Limited, Newbridge, Midlothian, EH28 8SZ, Scotland, UK
c  Department of Zootecnia, Escola Superior de Agricultura "Luiz de Queiroz", ESALQ, USP, Piracicaba, SP 13.418-900, Brazil

(Received 11 January 2006; accepted 31 August 2006; published online 11 January 2007)

Abstract - Myostatin is a negative regulator of skeletal muscle growth. We evaluated effects of myostatin polymorphisms in three elite commercial broiler chicken lines on mortality, growth, feed conversion efficiency, ultrasound breast depth, breast percentage, eviscerated carcass weight, leg defects, blood oxygen level, and hen antibody titer to infectious bursal disease virus vaccine. Progeny mean data adjusted for fixed and mate effects and DNA from 100 sires per line were used. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the myostatin gene segregating in these lines were identified by designing specific primers, amplifying individual DNA in each line by polymerase chain reaction, cloning, sequencing and aligning the corresponding products. Individual sires were genotyped for five identified SNPs which contributed to eight haplotypes. Frequencies of SNP alleles and haplotypes differed between lines. Using the allele substitution effect model, the myostatin SNPs were found to have significant ( P < 0.031) associations with growth, mortality, blood oxygen and hen antibody titer to infectious bursal disease virus vaccine, although the associations were not often consistent across lines. These results suggest that the myostatin gene has pleiotropic effects on broiler performance.

Key words: myostatin / SNP / growth / mortality / broiler chicken

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© INRA, EDP Sciences 2006