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Anim Genet. 2005 Oct;36(5):401-7.

A genome scan with AFLP markers to detect fearfulness-related QTLs in Japanese quail.

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Laboratoire de Génétique Cellulaire, INRA, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France.


A quantitative trait loci (QTL) study was undertaken to identify genome regions involved in the control of fearfulness in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica). An F2 cross was made between two quail lines divergently selected over 29 generations on duration of tonic immobility (DTI), a catatonic-like state of reduced responsiveness to a stressful stimulation. A total of 1065 animals were measured for the logarithm of DTI (LOGTI), the number of inductions (NI) necessary to induce the immobility reaction, open-field behaviour including locomotor activity (MOVE), latency before first movement (LAT), number of jumps (JUMP), dejections (DEJ) and shouts (SHOUT), corticosterone level after a contention stress (LOGCORT) and body weight at 2 weeks of age (BW2). A total of 310 animals were included in a genome scan using selective genotyping with 248 AFLP markers. A total of 21 suggestive or genome-wide significant QTL were observed. Two highly significant QTL were identified on linkage group 1 (GL1), one for LOGTI and one for NI. In the vicinity of the QTL for LOGTI, a nearly significant QTL for SHOUT and a suggestive QTL for LAT were also identified. On GL3, genome-wide significant QTL were observed for JUMP and DEJ as well as suggestive QTL for LOGTI, MOVE, SHOUT and LAT. A significant QTL for BW2 was observed on GL2 and a nearly significant one on GL1. These results may be useful in the understanding of fearfulness in quail and related species provided that fearfulness has the same genetic basis.

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