Modern commercial chickens have been selected for one of two specific purposes: egg production (layers) and meat production (broilers). Further selection has occurred within these groups and genomic signatures of selection may be detectable by statistical techniques. Regions identified by this approach may include genes associated with production traits.

Weir and Cockerham's pairwise FST was calculated for genome-wide markers between nine broiler lines and averaged into overlapping sliding windows. The significance of each window was determined by a permutation method. Fifty-one regions were identified as showing significant differentiation, the majority of which contain QTL relating to broiler traits. Five regions were significantly enriched for broiler QTL, including a region on chromosome 27 containing 39 broiler QTL and 114 genes, several of which are functional candidates for association with broiler traits. Further studies with higher density markers may narrow these regions down to individual genes.

John J Stainton, Chris S Haley, Brian Charlesworth, Andreas Kranis, Kellie Watson, Pamela Wiener

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Species Breeding: Poultry, , 330, 2014
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