Mapping of quantitative trait loci affecting eggshell quality on chromosome 9 in an F2 intercross between two chicken lines divergently selected for eggshell strength

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SummaryBroken and cracked eggshells are major causes of significant economic losses to the egg production industry. The quantitative trait loci (QTL) on chromosome 9 influencing the quality of eggshells were identified by analysing an intercross between two parent lines developed from the same founder population by a two-way selection for eggshell strength with non-destructive deformation conducted over 14 generations. Chromosome-wide highly significant (P < 0.01) QTL associated with egg weight (EW), short length of egg (SLE), long length of egg (LLE) and eggshell weight were mapped to the distal region of chromosome 9. Among the QTL affecting EW, SLE and LLE, ovocalyxin-32 was identified as a potential candidate gene influencing eggshell traits. Marker-assisted selection based on these QTL could be used to develop strategies for reducing the breakage and cracking of eggs in commercial layer houses.

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