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Association of neuropeptide Y and gonadotrophin-releasing hormone receptor gene SNPs with breeding value for growth and egg production traits in Mazandaran native chickens

Author(s): S.A. Fatemi, H. Mehrabani-Yeganeh, A. Nejati-Javaremi and Sh. Niknafs

Neuropeptide Y (NPY) and gonadotrophin-releasing hormone receptor (GnRHR) are two candidate genes with a wide variety of physiological functions in growth and especially in reproduction processes. We examined the association of one SNP from each of these genes with growth- and egg production-related traits in Mazandaran native chickens. Two hundred and six individuals were genotyped by PCR-RFLP. Marker-trait association analyses were performed using both breeding value and phenotypic information. The data came from 18 successive generations of selection at a Mazandaran native chicken breeding station in Iran. Data were analyzed with a univariate animal model in an ASREML procedure to estimate breeding values of the birds for these traits. Two alleles were found for both genes, A and a alleles for GnRHR, with frequencies of 0.614 and 0.386, B and b alleles for NPY, with frequencies of 0.780 and 0.221, respectively.The additive genetic effects of the GnRHR gene on egg number and egg mass were significant. Also, body weight at sexual maturity was significantly influenced by the NPY gene. We conclude that GnRHR and NPY genes are associated with egg production and growth traits, respectively.