Biodiversity of 52 chicken populations assessed by microsatellite typing of DNA pools

  • Jossi Hillel1Email author,

    Affiliated with

    • Martien AM Groenen2,

      Affiliated with

      • Michèle Tixier-Boichard3,

        Affiliated with

        • Abraham B Korol4,

          Affiliated with

          • Lior David1,

            Affiliated with

            • Valery M Kirzhner4,

              Affiliated with

              • Terry Burke5,

                Affiliated with

                • Asili Barre-Dirie6,

                  Affiliated with

                  • Richard PMA Crooijmans2,

                    Affiliated with

                    • Kari Elo7,

                      Affiliated with

                      • Marcus W Feldman8,

                        Affiliated with

                        • Paul J Freidlin1,

                          Affiliated with

                          • Asko Mäki-Tanila7,

                            Affiliated with

                            • Marian Oortwijn2,

                              Affiliated with

                              • Pippa Thomson5,

                                Affiliated with

                                • Alain Vignal9,

                                  Affiliated with

                                  • Klaus Wimmers10 and

                                    Affiliated with

                                    • Steffen Weigend6

                                      Affiliated with

                                      Genetics Selection Evolution200335:533

                                      DOI: 10.1186/1297-9686-35-6-533

                                      Received: 2 September 2002

                                      Accepted: 13 March 2003

                                      Published: 15 September 2003

                                      Abstract

                                      In a project on the biodiversity of chickens funded by the European Commission (EC), eight laboratories collaborated to assess the genetic variation within and between 52 populations from a wide range of chicken types. Twenty-two di-nucleotide microsatellite markers were used to genotype DNA pools of 50 birds from each population. The polymorphism measures for the average, the least polymorphic population (inbred C line) and the most polymorphic population (Gallus gallus spadiceus) were, respectively, as follows: number of alleles per locus, per population: 3.5, 1.3 and 5.2; average gene diversity across markers: 0.47, 0.05 and 0.64; and proportion of polymorphic markers: 0.91, 0.25 and 1.0. These were in good agreement with the breeding history of the populations. For instance, unselected populations were found to be more polymorphic than selected breeds such as layers. Thus DNA pools are effective in the preliminary assessment of genetic variation of populations and markers. Mean genetic distance indicates the extent to which a given population shares its genetic diversity with that of the whole tested gene pool and is a useful criterion for conservation of diversity. The distribution of population-specific (private) alleles and the amount of genetic variation shared among populations supports the hypothesis that the red jungle fowl is the main progenitor of the domesticated chicken.

                                      genetic distance polymorphism red jungle fowl DNA markers domesticated chicken

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                                      Authors’ Affiliations

                                      (1)
                                      Department of Genetics, Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environmental quality sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
                                      (2)
                                      Institute of Animal Sciences, Wageningen Agricultural University
                                      (3)
                                      Centre de Jouy-en-Josas, Institut national de la recherche agronomique
                                      (4)
                                      Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa
                                      (5)
                                      Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, Sheffield University
                                      (6)
                                      Federal Agricultural Research Centre, Mariensee, Institute for Animal Science
                                      (7)
                                      Agricultural Research Centre, Institute of Animal Production
                                      (8)
                                      Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University
                                      (9)
                                      Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Centre de Toulouse
                                      (10)
                                      Institute of Animal Breeding Science, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitat Bonn

                                      Copyright

                                      © INRA, EDP Sciences 2003

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