Validated quantitative trait loci for eggshell quality in experimental and commercial laying hens

Maria Tuiskula-Haavisto, Mervi Honkatukia, Ian Dunn, M. M. Bain, Dirk-Jan De Koning, Rudolf PREISINGER, Matthias SCHMUTZ, J. Arango, D. Fischer, J. Vilkki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Compromised eggshell quality causes considerable economic losses for the egg industry. Breeding for improved eggshell quality has been very challenging. Eggshell quality is a trait that would greatly benefit from marker-assisted selection, which would allow the selection of sires for their direct contribution to the trait and would also allow implementation of measurements integrating a number of shell parameters that are difficult to measure. In this study, we selected the most promising autosomal quantitative trait loci (QTL) affecting eggshell quality on chromosomes 2, 3, 6 and 14 from earlier experiments and we extended the F2 population to include 1599 F2 females. The study was repeated on two commercial populations: Lohmann Tierzucht Rhode Island Red line (n = 692 females) and a Hy-Line White Plymouth Rock line (n = 290 progeny tested males). We analyzed the selected autosomal QTL regions on the three populations with SNP markers at 4-13 SNPs/Mb density. QTL for eggshell quality were replicated on all studied regions in the F2 population. New QTL were detected for eggshell color on chromosomes 3 and 6. Marker associations with eggshell quality traits were validated in the tested commercial lines on chromosomes 2, 3 and 6, thus paving the way for marker-assisted selection for improved eggshell quality.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnimal Genetics
Early online date24 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2018

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • association
  • breaking strength
  • chicken
  • selection
  • SNP marker


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