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Important Loci for Immune Traits Identified Using a Genome-Wide Association Study in Chicken

Source: Author:Zhao Guiping Date:2015-04-30
Recently, a series of important loci for immune traits identified in chicken have been carried out by Professor Guiping Zhao, Member of Poultry Genetics and Breeding Team, Institute of Animal Science (IAS) of CAAS. The research result was published online in PLoS ONE on March 30, 2015.

Disease-resistance or immune trait is a favorable economic trait for the poultry industry, but remains a complex trait controlled by multiple genes. The genetic improvement of disease resistance in poultry continues to be a challenge. Beijing-You chicken demonstrates the high disease resistance among indigenous poultry breeds in China. The research team have identified 39 SNPs associated with six immune traits (total serum IgY level, numbers of, and the ratio of heterophils and lymphocytes, and antibody responses against AIV and SRBC) using GWAS in Beijing-You chickens (P < 5.62E-05). Five of most significant SNPs for serum total IgY concentration were located in a narrow region spanning 6.4kb to 253.4kb on chromosome 16 (P = 1.20E-14 to 5.33E-08). Five candidate genes (IL4I1, CD1b, GNB2L1, TRIM27 and ZNF692) related to IgY level by GWAS, and validated here by experimental challenge, are novel and may play critical roles in the modulation of immune responses.

This research result has laid a significant foundation for further identifying the immunity-related genes and provide useful information for the molecular mechanisms underlying disease-resistance traits in chickens.

This research are supported by the National Key Technology R&D Program (2011BAD28B03), the Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Program (ASTIP-IAS04),and the earmarked fund for modern agro-industry technology research system (CARS-42).
By Zhao Guiping