Molecular genetic selection on individual genes is a promising method to genetically improve economically important traits in chickens. A resource population was developed to study the genetics of growth, body composition, skeletal integrity, and metabolism traits. Broiler sires were crossed to dams of 2 diverse, highly inbred lines (Leghorn and Fayoumi), and the F1 birds were intermated by dam line to produce broiler-Leghorn and broiler-Fayoumi F2 offspring. Growth, body composition, skeletal integrity, and hormonal and metabolic factors were measured in 713 F2 individuals. Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF1) was selected for study as a biological and positional candidate gene. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) was identified between the founder lines in the IGF1 promoter region, and a PCR-RFLP assay was developed. A mixed model was used to statistically analyze associations of IGF1-SNP1 with phenotypic traits. The IGF1-SNP1 had significant associations with most recorded traits, except metabolic traits. Strong interactions between the IGF1 gene and genetic background on growth traits in the 2 F2 populations suggest that genetic interaction is an important aspect for consideration before using the IGF1-SNP1 in marker-assisted selection programs. Several beneficial effects (improved growth, increased breast muscle weight, decreased abdominal fat, and enhanced skeletal integrity) associated with 1 allele indicate the presence of 1 or more loci near IGF1-SNP1 controlling biologically diverse and economically important traits in chickens.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/susan_lamont/66/