Genomics of dwarfism in Italian local chicken breeds

Perini Francesco, Filippo Cendron, Zhou Wu, Natalia Sevane, Zhiqiang Li, Chunhua Huang, Jacqueline Smith, Emiliano Lasagna, Martino Cassandro, Mauro Penasa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The identification of dwarf phenotype in chicken is based on body weight, height and shank length, leaving the differentiation between dwarf and small breeds ambiguous. The aims of the present study were to characterize the sequence variations associated with dwarf phenotype in three Italian chicken breeds and to investigate the genes associated with their phenotype. Five hundred and forty-one chickens from local breeds (from 20 to 24 animals per breed) were sampled.
All animals were genotyped with the 600 K chicken SNP array. Three breeds were described as “dwarf”, namely Mericanel della Brianza (MERI), Mugellese (MUG) and Pepoi (PPP). We compared MERI, MUG and PPP with the four heaviest breeds in the dataset by performing genome-wide association studies. Results showed significant SNPs associated with dwarfism in MERI and MUG breeds, which shared a candidate genomic region on chromosome 1. Due to this similarity, MERI and MUG were analysed together as meta-population observing significant SNPs in LEMD3 and HMGA2 genes, which were previously reported as being responsible for dwarfism in different species. In conclusion, MERI and MUG breeds seem to share a genetic basis of dwarfism, which differentiates them from the small PPP breed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number633
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages17
Issue number14
Early online date3 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • genomic region
  • indigenous breed
  • chicken
  • SNP
  • GWAS


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