Quantitative trait loci affecting fatness in the chicken

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SummaryAn F2 chicken population of 442 individuals from 30 families, obtained by crossing a broiler line with a layer line, was used for detecting and mapping Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) affecting abdominal fat weight, skin fat weight and fat distribution. Within-family regression analyses using 102 microsatellite markers in 27 linkage groups were carried out with genome-wide significance thresholds. The QTL for abdominal fat weight were found on chromosomes 3, 7, 15 and 28; abdominal fat weight adjusted for carcass weight on chromosomes 1, 5, 7 and 28; skin and subcutaneous fat on chromosomes 3, 7 and 13; skin fat weight adjusted for carcass weight on chromosomes 3 and 28; and skin fat weight adjusted for abdominal fat weight on chromosomes 5, 7 and 15. Interactions of the QTL with sex or family were unimportant and, for each trait, there was no evidence for imprinting or of multiple QTL on any chromosome. Significant dominance effects were obtained for all but one of the significant locations for QTL affecting the weight of abdominal fat, none for skin fat and one of the three QTL affecting fat distribution. The magnitude of each QTL ranged from 3.0 to 5.2% of the residual phenotypic variation or 0.2–0.8 phenotypic standard deviations. The largest additive QTL (on chromosome 7) accounted for more than 20% of the mean weight of abdominal fat. Significant positive and negative QTL were identified from both lines.

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