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PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e40974. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0040974. Epub 2012 Jul 23.

Genome-wide association mapping and identification of candidate genes for the rumpless and ear-tufted traits of the Araucana chicken.

Author information

1
Department of Genetics and Biochemistry, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, United States of America.

Abstract

Araucana chickens are known for their rounded, tailless rumps and tufted ears. Inheritance studies have shown that the rumpless (Rp) and ear-tufted (Et) loci each act in an autosomal dominant fashion, segregate independently, and are associated with an increased rate of embryonic mortality. To find genomic regions associated with Rp and Et, we generated genome-wide SNP profiles for a diverse population of 60 Araucana chickens using the 60 K chicken SNP BeadChip. Genome-wide association studies using 40 rumpless and 11 tailed birds showed a strong association with rumpless on Gga 2 (P(raw) = 2.45×10(-10), P(genome) = 0.00575), and analysis of genotypes revealed a 2.14 Mb haplotype shared by all rumpless birds. Within this haplotype, a 0.74 Mb critical interval containing two Iroquois homeobox genes, Irx1 and Irx2, was unique to rumpless Araucana chickens. Irx1 and Irx2 are central for developmental prepatterning, but neither gene is known to have a role in mechanisms leading to caudal development. A second genome-wide association analysis using 30 ear-tufted and 28 non-tufted birds revealed an association with tufted on Gga 15 (P(raw) = 6.61×10(-7), P(genome) = 0.0981). We identified a 0.58 Mb haplotype common to tufted birds and harboring 7 genes. Because homozygosity for Et is nearly 100% lethal, we employed a heterozygosity mapping approach to prioritize candidate gene selection. A 60 kb region heterozygous in all Araucana chickens contains the complete coding sequence for TBX1 and partial sequence for GNB1L. TBX1 is an important transcriptional regulator of embryonic development and a key genetic determinant of human DiGeorge syndrome. Herein, we describe localization of Rp and Et and identification of positional candidate genes.

PMID:
22844420
PMCID:
PMC3402462
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0040974
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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