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Genome-Wide Association Study Identifies 12 Loci Associated with Body Weight at Age 8 Weeks in Korean Native Chickens

  • cha;, jihye
Publication Date
Jul 29, 2021
DOI: 10.3390/genes12081170
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Meat from Korean native chickens (KNCs) has high consumer demand; however, slow growth performance and high variation in body weight (BW) of KNCs remain an issue. Genome-wide association study (GWAS) is a powerful method to identify quantitative trait-associated genomic loci. A GWAS, based on a large-scale KNC population, is needed to identify underlying genetic mechanisms related to its growth traits. To identify BW-associated genomic regions, we performed a GWAS using the chicken 60K single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) panel for 1328 KNCs. BW was measured at 8 weeks of age, from 2018 to 2020. Twelve SNPs were associated with BW at the suggestive significance level (p < 2.95 × 10−5) and located near or within 11 candidate genes, including WDR37, KCNIP4, SLIT2, PPARGC1A, MYOCD and ADGRA3. Gene set enrichment analysis based on the GWAS results at p < 0.05 (1680 SNPs) showed that 32 Gene Ontology terms and two Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathways, including regulation of transcription, motor activity, the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway, and tight junction, were significantly enriched (p < 0.05) for BW-associated genes. These pathways are involved in cell growth and development, related to BW gain. The identified SNPs are potential biomarkers in KNC breeding.

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