Identification of selection signatures involved in performance traits in a paternal broiler line

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Background: Natural and artificial selection leads to changes in certain regions of the genome resulting in selection signatures that can reveal genes associated with the selected traits. Selection signatures may be identified using different methodologies, of which some are based on detecting contiguous sequences of homozygous identical-by-descent haplotypes, called runs of homozygosity (ROH), or estimating fixation index (FST) of genomic windows that indicates genetic differentiation. This study aimed to identify selection signatures in a paternal broiler TT line at generations 7th and 16th of selection and to investigate the genes annotated in these regions as well as the biological pathways involved. For such purpose, ROH and FST-based analysis were performed using whole genome sequence of twenty-eight chickens from two different generations. Results: ROH analysis identified homozygous regions of short and moderate size. Analysis of ROH patterns revealed regions commonly shared among animals and changes in ROH abundance and size between the two generations. Results also suggest that whole genome sequencing (WGS) outperforms SNPchip data avoiding overestimation of ROH size and underestimation of ROH number; however, sequencing costs can limited the number of animals analyzed. FST-based analysis revealed genetic differentiation in several genomic windows. Annotation of the consensus regions of ROH and FST windows revealed new and previously identified genes associated with traits of economic interest, such as APOB, IGF1, IGFBP2, POMC, PPARG, and ZNF423. Over-representation analysis of the genes resulted in biological terms of skeletal muscle, matrilin proteins, adipose tissue, hyperglycemia, diabetes, Salmonella infections and tyrosine. Conclusions: Identification of ROH and FST-based analyses revealed selection signatures in TT line and genes that have important role in traits of economic interest. Changes in the genome of the chickens were observed between the 7th and 16th generations showing that ancient and recent selection in TT line may have acted over genomic regions affecting diseases and performance traits.




Almeida, O. A. C., Moreira, G. C. M., Rezende, F. M., Boschiero, C., De Oliveira Peixoto, J., Ibelli, A. M. G., … Coutinho, L. L. (2019). Identification of selection signatures involved in performance traits in a paternal broiler line. BMC Genomics, 20(1).

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