Genetic parameters and across-line SNP associations differ for natural antibody isotypes IgM and IgG in laying hens

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Abstract

In an earlier study, serum levels of natural antibody isotypes IgM- and IgG-binding keyhole limpet hemocyanin were found to be indicative for survival through the laying period of hens and therefore considered as promising traits for future implementation in breeding programs for higher survival of layers. In the present study, we first estimated the genetic parameters for the two isotypes at 20, 40 and 65 weeks of age (IgM20, IgM40 and IgM65; IgG20, IgG40 and IgG65). Pooled genetic parameters were estimated from the total population of 2504 hens from nine purebred layer lines, with line included in the model to account for admixture. Moderate heritabilities (0.14–0.44) indicated that selection for isotype titers is feasible, especially for IgM. Secondly, associations between 1022 SNP markers and the above-mentioned six immunological traits were estimated in 650 genotyped hens from the nine lines. The association study was performed across lines to detect markers that are closer to the QTL and have the same phase of association in the entire population. Forty-three significant associations between SNPs and isotype titers were detected. The SNPs of interleukins IL10 and IL19 were associated with both isotypes; SNPs of tripartite motif containing 33 (TRIM33) and IL6 showed significant association with IgG20 and IgM20 respectively; SNPs of heat shock protein 90kDa alpha (cytosolic), class B member 1 (HSP90AB1) were associated with IgG titers at older ages. Some detected SNPs were also reported associated with other immune and behavioral traits.

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