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Genotype on the pigmentation regulating PMEL17 gene affects behavior in chickens raised without physical contact with conspecifics.

TitleGenotype on the pigmentation regulating PMEL17 gene affects behavior in chickens raised without physical contact with conspecifics.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsKarlsson, A-C, Mormède, P, Kerje, S, Jensen, P
JournalBehav Genet
Volume41
Issue2
Pagination312-22
Date Published2011 Mar
ISSN1573-3297
KeywordsAdrenal Cortex Hormones, Animals, Behavior, Animal, Chickens, Crosses, Genetic, Fear, Female, Genotype, gp100 Melanoma Antigen, Homozygote, Male, Models, Genetic, Phenotype, Testosterone
Abstract

Chickens homozygous for the Dominant white or wild-type allele of PMEL17 were subjected to a broad phenotyping in order to detect consistent differences between genotypes. To exclude feather pecking, the chickens were individually housed without physical contact, from the day of hatching, and tested for social, aggressive, fear and exploratory behaviors, and corticosterone and testosterone levels were assessed. In a principal component analysis, 53.2% of the behavior variation was explained by two factors. Factor one was an activity and social factor, and there was a significant effect of genotype on the factor scores. On factor two, related to aggressive behavior, there were significant effects of genotype, sex and their interaction. There were no genotype effects on hormone levels or any other measured non-behavioral phenotypes. Hence, differences in behavior between PMEL17 genotypes remained when negative social experiences were excluded, indicating a direct pleiotropic effect of the gene on behavior.

DOI10.1007/s10519-010-9379-4
Alternate JournalBehav. Genet.
PubMed ID20623330