Detection of quantitative trait loci for body weights and conformation traits in Beijing ducks

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SummaryQuantitative trait loci (QTL) for body weights and conformation traits were detected in Beijing ducks. Traits included body weights (BW) at hatching and at 1–7 weeks of age; lengths of the body (BL), keel bone (KBL), shank (SL) and neck (NL) at 7 weeks of age; width of breast (BTW) at 7 weeks; and girths of shank (SG) and breast (BG) at 7 weeks. Using a half-sib analysis with a multiple-QTL model, linkage between the phenotypic traits and 95 microsatellite markers was studied. Six genome-wide suggestive QTL for three body weights and two conformation traits were identified in CAU1, CAU2, CAU6 and CAU12. Chromosome-wide significant QTL influencing one body weight trait and one conformation trait were located in CAU4 and CAU10 respectively. Twelve chromosome-wide suggestive QTL for six body weight traits and four conformation traits were found in seven linkage groups (CAU1, CAU2, CAU3, CAU4, CAU6, CAU10 and CAU12). In addition, the QTL in CAU6 at 21 and 73 cM jointly affected SG and explained 10.6% of the phenotypic variation. This study provides the first evidence for QTL involved in body weights and conformation traits in ducks, and will stimulate further investigations into the genetic architecture of these traits in this species.

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