Mapping QTL for white striping in relation to breast muscle yield and meat quality traits in broiler chickens.

TitleMapping QTL for white striping in relation to breast muscle yield and meat quality traits in broiler chickens.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsPampouille, E, Berri, C, Boitard, S, Hennequet-Antier, C, Beauclercq, SA, Godet, E, Praud, C, Jégo, Y, Le Bihan-Duval, E
JournalBMC Genomics
Date Published2018 03 20

BACKGROUND: White striping (WS) is an emerging muscular defect occurring on breast and thigh muscles of broiler chickens. It is characterized by the presence of white striations parallel to the muscle fibers and has significant consequences for meat quality. The etiology of WS remains poorly understood, even if previous studies demonstrated that the defect prevalence is related to broiler growth and muscle development. Moreover, recent studies showed moderate to high heritability values of WS, which emphasized the role of genetics in the expression of the muscle defect. The aim of this study was to identify the first quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for WS as well as breast muscle yield (BMY) and meat quality traits using a genome-wide association study (GWAS). We took advantage of two divergent lines of chickens selected for meat quality through Pectoralis major ultimate pH (pHu) and which exhibit the muscular defect. An expression QTL (eQTL) detection was further performed for some candidate genes, either suggested by GWAS analysis or based on their biological function.RESULTS: Forty-two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with WS and other meat quality traits were identified. They defined 18 QTL regions located on 13 chromosomes. These results supported a polygenic inheritance of the studied traits and highlighted a few pleiotropic regions. A set of 16 positional and/or functional candidate genes was designed for further eQTL detection. A total of 132 SNPs were associated with molecular phenotypes and defined 21 eQTL regions located on 16 chromosomes. Interestingly, several co-localizations between QTL and eQTL regions were observed which could suggest causative genes and gene networks involved in the variability of meat quality traits and BMY.CONCLUSIONS: The QTL mapping carried out in the current study for WS did not support the existence of a major gene, but rather suggested a polygenic inheritance of the defect and of other studied meat quality traits. We identified several candidate genes involved in muscle metabolism and structure and in muscular dystrophies. The eQTL analyses showed that they were part of molecular networks associated with WS and meat quality phenotypes and suggested a few putative causative genes.

Alternate JournalBMC Genomics
PubMed ID29554873
PubMed Central IDPMC5859760