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Quantitative trait loci for morphometric and mineral composition traits of the tibia bone in a broiler × layer cross

  • J. C. Faveri (a1), L. F. B. Pinto (a1), G. M. F. de Camargo (a1), V. B. Pedrosa (a2), J. O. Peixoto (a3), J. A. P. Marchesi (a3), V. L. Kawski (a3), L. L. Coutinho (a4) and M. C. Ledur (a3)...


Many economic losses occur in the poultry industry due to leg fragility. Knowing the genomic regions that influence traits associated with the growth and composition of the leg’s bone can help to improve the selection process leading to increased leg resistance to fracture. The present study aimed to map quantitative trait loci (QTL) for mineral composition and morphometric traits of the tibia in 478 animals from an F2 broiler × layer cross. The measurement of weight, length and width of Tibia was carried out at 42 days of age. Ash, dry matter, levels of calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), Zinc (Zn) and Calcium:Phosphorus (Ca:P) ratio were also recorded. The population was genotyped for 128 microsatellite markers and one single nucleotide polymorphism, covering 2630 cM of the chicken genome. A likelihood ratio test was performed to find QTLs. Additive and dominance effects of the QTLs were included in the model. In the chromosomes 2 (GGA2), 6 (GGA6), 8 (GGA8), 24 (GGA24) and 26 (GGA26) some suggestive QTLs (P<0.00276) were mapped for tibia weight (GGA2 and GGA26), ash percentage (GGA2 and GGA6), dry matter percentage (GGA2), Ca (GGA8 and GGA24) and Ca:P ratio (GGA8), many of which are close to genes already identified as good candidates for those traits. The suggestive QTL on GGA2 has a pleiotropic effect on ash percentage, dry matter and bone weight, whereas in the GGA8 there seems to be two QTLs, one for Ca and another for Ca:P ratio. Thus, this study identified at least five genomic regions, in different chromosomes, that can be targeted for further research to identify potential mutations influencing the development and composition of leg bones in Gallus gallus.


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Present address: USP, Depto de Genética, Vila Monte Alegre, Ribeirão Preto, SP 14049-900, Brazil.



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