Variant discovery in a QTL region on chromosome 3 associated with fatness in chickens

G. C M Moreira, T. F. Godoy, C. Boschiero, A. Gheyas, G. Gasparin, S. C S Andrade, M. Paduan, H. Montenegro, D. W. Burt, M. C. Ledur, L. L. Coutinho*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abdominal fat content is an economically important trait in commercially bred chickens. Although many quantitative trait loci (QTL) related to fat deposition have been detected, the resolution for these regions is low and functional variants are still unknown. The current study was conducted aiming at increasing resolution for a region previously shown to have a QTL associated with fat deposition, to detect novel variants from this region and to annotate those variants to delineate potentially functional ones as candidates for future studies. To achieve this, 18 chickens from a parental generation used in a reciprocal cross between broiler and layer lines were sequenced using the Illumina next-generation platform with an initial coverage of 18X/chicken. The discovery of genetic variants was performed in a QTL region located on chromosome 3 between microsatellite markers LEI0161 and ADL0371 (33 595 706-42 632 651 bp). A total of 136 054 unique SNPs and 15 496 unique INDELs were detected in this region, and after quality filtering, 123 985 SNPs and 11 298 INDELs were retained. Of these variants, 386 SNPs and 15 INDELs were located in coding regions of genes related to important metabolic pathways. Loss-of-function variants were identified in several genes, and six of those, namely LOC771163, EGLN1, GNPAT, FAM120B, THBS2 and GGPS1, were related to fat deposition. Therefore, these loss-of-function variants are candidate mutations for conducting further studies on this important trait in chickens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-147
JournalAnimal Genetics
Issue number2
Early online date23 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


  • Abdominal fat
  • Next-generation sequencing
  • Quantitative trait loci
  • SNP


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