Natural antibodies (NAb) are antibodies that are present in individuals without prior exposure to the antigen that they bind. In chickens, NAb have been associated with survival. Furthermore, genetic variation between chickens in NAb levels has been demonstrated. To improve our understanding of the genetic variation for NAb levels in chickens we performed a genome wide association study. A population of 1,628 White Leghorn chickens was investigated. Animals were phenotyped for NAb levels using the antigen keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) as model. Animals were genotyped for 15,579 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP). Highly significant association between SNP and NAb levels was observed on chicken chromosome 4. A single SNP was identified as the most likely candidate for this association. Identification of this candidate SNP was based on further analysis with full genome sequence genotypes and on predicted consequences of associated SNP. This candidate SNP causes a phenylalanine to leucine amino acid change in one of the leucine rich repeats in toll-like receptor 1 family member A (TLR1A). Our results suggest an important role for TLR1A in relation to NAb levels in chickens. Further study should confirm the effect of the SNP in TLR1A on NAb levels and on the (natural) immune competence of chickens. Keywords: natural antibodies, toll-like receptor, TLR1A

Marleen HPW Visker, Tom Berghof, Joop Arts, Henk Parmentier, Jan van der Poel, Addie Vereijken, Henk Bovenhuis

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Biology - Disease Resistance 3, , 43, 2018
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