Identification of quantitative trait loci affecting production and biochemical traits in a unique Japanese quail resource population

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The objective of the current study was to identify QTL associated with body weight, growth rate, egg quality traits, concentration of selected blood plasma, and yolk lipids as well as concentration of selected macro- and microelements, color, pH, basic chemical composition, and drip loss of breast muscle of Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica). Twenty-two meat-type males (line F33) were crossed with twenty-two laying-type females (line S22) to produce a generation of F1 hybrids. The F2 generation was created by mating 44 randomly chosen F1 hybrids, which were full siblings. The birds were individually weighed from the first to eighth week of age. At the age of 19 wk, 2 to 4 eggs were individually collected from each female and an analysis of the egg quality traits was performed. At slaughter, blood and breast muscles were collected from 324 individuals of the resource population. The basic chemical composition, concentration of chosen macro- and microelements, color, pH, and drip loss were determined in the muscle samples. The concentration of chosen lipids was determined in egg yolk and blood plasma. In total, 30 microsatellite markers located on chromosome 1 and 2 were genotyped. QTL mapping including additive and dominance genetic effects revealed 6 loci on chromosome 1 of the Japanese quail affecting the egg number, egg production rate, egg weight, specific gravity, egg shell weight, concentration of Na in breast muscle. In turn, there were 9 loci on chromosome 2 affecting the body weight in the first, fourth, and sixth week of age, growth rate in the second and seventh week of age, specific gravity, concentration of K and Cu in breast muscle, and the levels of triacylglycerols in blood plasma. In this study, QTL with a potential effect on the Na, K, and Cu content in breast muscles in poultry and on specific gravity in the Japanese quail were mapped for the first time.

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