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Bone mineral density QTL at sexual maturity and end of lay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-9
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Poultry Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012


1. An F(2) cross of a broiler male line and a White Leghorn layer line was used to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) for bone density at the onset of lay and at the end of the laying period. A total of 686 measures of humeral bone density were available for analysis. 2. There was no evidence for epistasis. 3. Genome-wide significant QTL for bone density at the onset of lay were identified on chromosomes 1 (311 cM) and 8 (2 cM) and on chromosomes 1 (311 cM), 3 (57 cM) and 8 (2 cM) with a covariate for the number of yellow follicles (a proxy for the concentration of circulating oestrogen). 4. Evidence for only 4 chromosome-wide suggestive QTL were detected at the end of lay (72 weeks). 5. Analysis of the combined data confirmed two genome-wide suggestive QTL on chromosome 1 (137 and 266 cM) and on chromosomes 8 (2 cM) and 9 (10 cM) in analyses with or without the covariate. 6. Positive QTL alleles came from the broiler line with the exception of 2 suggestive QTL at the onset of lay on chromosomes 3 and 5 in an analysis with the covariate. 7. In general, QTL acted additively, except that dominant effects were identified for three suggestive QTL at the onset of lay on chromosomes 3 (57 and 187 cM) and 5 (9 cM). 8. The significant QTL in this study were at similar locations to QTL identified in a range of crosses in other publications, suggesting that they are prime candidates for the search for genes and mutations that could be used as selection criteria to improve bone strength and decrease fractures in commercial laying hens.

    Research areas

  • Animals, Bone Density, Chickens/genetics, Chickens/physiology, Chromosome Mapping/veterinary, Epistasis, Genetic, Female, Genotype, Microsatellite Repeats, Oviparity, Quantitative Trait Loci, Quantitative Trait, Heritable, Reproduction, Sexual Maturation

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