A medium density genetic map and QTL for behavioral and production traits in Japanese quail.

TitleA medium density genetic map and QTL for behavioral and production traits in Japanese quail.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsRecoquillay, J, Pitel, F, Arnould, C, Leroux, S, Dehais, P, Moreno, C, Calandreau, L, Bertin, A, Gourichon, D, Bouchez, O, Vignal, A, Fariello, MInés, Minvielle, F, Beaumont, C, Leterrier, C, Le Bihan-Duval, E
JournalBMC Genomics
Date Published2015

BACKGROUND: Behavioral traits such as sociability, emotional reactivity and aggressiveness are major factors in animal adaptation to breeding conditions. In order to investigate the genetic control of these traits as well as their relationships with production traits, a study was undertaken on a large second generation cross (F2) between two lines of Japanese Quail divergently selected on their social reinstatement behavior. All the birds were measured for several social behaviors (social reinstatement, response to social isolation, sexual motivation, aggression), behaviors measuring the emotional reactivity of the birds (reaction to an unknown object, tonic immobility reaction), and production traits (body weight and egg production).RESULTS: We report the results of the first genome-wide QTL detection based on a medium density SNP panel obtained from whole genome sequencing of a pool of individuals from each divergent line. A genetic map was constructed using 2145 markers among which 1479 could be positioned on 28 different linkage groups. The sex-averaged linkage map spanned a total of 3057 cM with an average marker spacing of 2.1 cM. With the exception of a few regions, the marker order was the same in Japanese Quail and the chicken, which confirmed a well conserved synteny between the two species. The linkage analyses performed using QTLMAP software revealed a total of 45 QTLs related either to behavioral (23) or production (22) traits. The most numerous QTLs (15) concerned social motivation traits. Interestingly, our results pinpointed putative pleiotropic regions which controlled emotional reactivity and body-weight of birds (on CJA5 and CJA8) or their social motivation and the onset of egg laying (on CJA19).CONCLUSION: This study identified several QTL regions for social and emotional behaviors in the Quail. Further research will be needed to refine the QTL and confirm or refute the role of candidate genes, which were suggested by bioinformatics analysis. It can be hoped that the identification of genes and polymorphisms related to behavioral traits in the quail will have further applications for other poultry species (especially the chicken) and will contribute to solving animal welfare issues in poultry production.

Alternate JournalBMC Genomics
PubMed ID25609057
PubMed Central IDPMC4307178