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Genome-wide association study and biological pathway analysis of the Eimeria maxima response in broilers.

TitleGenome-wide association study and biological pathway analysis of the Eimeria maxima response in broilers.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsHamzić, E, Buitenhuis, B, Hérault, F, Hawken, R, Abrahamsen, MS, Servin, B, Elsen, J-M, van der Laan, M-HPinard-, Bed'hom, B
JournalGenet Sel Evol
Date Published2015

BACKGROUND: Coccidiosis is the most common and costly disease in the poultry industry and is caused by protozoans of the Eimeria genus. The current control of coccidiosis, based on the use of anticoccidial drugs and vaccination, faces serious obstacles such as drug resistance and the high costs for the development of efficient vaccines, respectively. Therefore, the current control programs must be expanded with complementary approaches such as the use of genetics to improve the host response to Eimeria infections. Recently, we have performed a large-scale challenge study on Cobb500 broilers using E. maxima for which we investigated variability among animals in response to the challenge. As a follow-up to this challenge study, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify genomic regions underlying variability of the measured traits in the response to Eimeria maxima in broilers. Furthermore, we conducted a post-GWAS functional analysis to increase our biological understanding of the underlying response to Eimeria maxima challenge.RESULTS: In total, we identified 22 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with q value <0.1 distributed across five chromosomes. The highly significant SNPs were associated with body weight gain (three SNPs on GGA5, one SNP on GGA1 and one SNP on GGA3), plasma coloration measured as optical density at wavelengths in the range 465-510 nm (10 SNPs and all on GGA10) and the percentage of β2-globulin in blood plasma (15 SNPs on GGA1 and one SNP on GGA2). Biological pathways related to metabolic processes, cell proliferation, and primary innate immune processes were among the most frequent significantly enriched biological pathways. Furthermore, the network-based analysis produced two networks of high confidence, with one centered on large tumor suppressor kinase 1 (LATS1) and 2 (LATS2) and the second involving the myosin heavy chain 6 (MYH6).CONCLUSIONS: We identified several strong candidate genes and genomic regions associated with traits measured in response to Eimeria maxima in broilers. Furthermore, the post-GWAS functional analysis indicates that biological pathways and networks involved in tissue proliferation and repair along with the primary innate immune response may play the most important role during the early stage of Eimeria maxima infection in broilers.

Alternate JournalGenet. Sel. Evol.
PubMed ID26607727
PubMed Central IDPMC4659166