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PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56656. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056656. Epub 2013 Feb 19.

Detection of SNPs in the cathepsin D gene and their association with yolk traits in chickens.

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Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Microbiological Engineering, Shandong Polytechnic University, Ji'nan, Shandong, China.


CTSD (Cathepsin D) is a key enzyme in yolk formation, and it primarily affects egg yolk weight and egg weight. However, recent research has mostly focused on the genomic structure of the CTSD gene and the enzyme's role in pathology, and less is known about the enzyme's functions in chickens. In this paper, the correlations between CTSD polymorphisms and egg quality traits were analyzed in local Shandong chicken breeds. CTSD polymorphisms were investigated by PCR-SSCP (polymerase chain reaction single strand conformation polymorphism) and sequencing analysis. Two variants were found to be associated with egg quality traits. One variant (2614T>C), located in exon 3, was novel. Another variant (5274G>T), located in intron 4, was previously referred to as rs16469410. Overall, our results indicated that CTSD would be a useful candidate gene in selection programs for improving yolk traits.

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