Genome-wide association studies of immune, disease and productivity traits in indigenous chicken ecotypes

Psifidi, A and Banos, G and Matika, O and Desta, T T and Bettridge, J and Hume, D A and Tadelle, D and Christley, R and Wigley, P and Hanotte, O and Kaiser, P (2016) Genome-wide association studies of immune, disease and productivity traits in indigenous chicken ecotypes. Genetics Selection Evolution, 48 (74).

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Abstract

The majority of chickens in sub-Saharan Africa are indigenous ecotypes, well adapted to the local environment and raised in scavenging production systems. Although they are generally resilient to disease challenge, routine vaccination and biosecurity measures are rarely applied and infectious diseases remain a major cause of mortality and reduced productivity. Management and genetic improvement programmes are hampered by lack of routine data recording. Selective breeding based on genomic technologies may provide the means to enhance sustainability. In this study, we investigated the genetic architecture of antibody response to four major infectious diseases [infectious bursal disease (IBDV), Marek’s disease (MDV), fowl typhoid (SG), fowl cholera (PM)] and resistance to Eimeria and cestode parasitism, along with two production traits [body weight and body condition score (BCS)] in two distinct indigenous Ethiopian chicken ecotypes. We conducted variance component analyses, genome-wide association studies, and pathway and selective sweep analyses.