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Genetic analysis of a divergent selection for resistance to Rous sarcomas in chickens. This article is dedicated to the memory of Pierrick Thoraval (1960–2000).

  • 1Email author,
  • 2,
  • 3,
  • 4,
  • 4,
  • 2 and
  • 2
Genetics Selection Evolution200436:65

  • Received: 9 December 2002
  • Accepted: 27 August 2003
  • Published:


Selection for disease resistance related traits is a tool of choice for evidencing and exploring genetic variability and studying underlying resistance mechanisms. In this framework, chickens originating from a base population, homozygote for the B19 major histocompatibility complex (MHC) were divergently selected for either progression or regression of tumors induced at 4 weeks of age by a SR-D strain of Rous sarcoma virus (RSV). The first generation of selection was based on a progeny test and subsequent selections were performed on full-sibs. Data of 18 generations including a total of 2010 birds measured were analyzed for the tumor profile index (TPI), a synthetic criterion of resistance derived from recording the volume of the tumors and mortality. Response to selection and heritability of TPI were estimated using a restricted maximum likelihood method with an animal model. Significant progress was shown in both directions: the lines differing significantly for TPI and mortality becoming null in the "regressor" line. Heritability of TPI was estimated as 0.49 ± 0.05 and 0.53 ± 0.06 within the progressor and regressor lines respectively, and 0.46 ± 0.03 when estimated over lines. Preliminary results showed within the progressor line a possible association between one Rfp-Y type and the growth of tumors.


  • chicken
  • selection
  • resistance
  • Rous sarcoma
  • Rfp-Y

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Authors’ Affiliations

UMR Génétique et diversité animales, Institut national de la recherche agronomique, 78352 Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, France
Unité BioAgresseurs, Santé Environnement, Institut national de la recherche agronomique, 37380 Nouzilly, France
Station de pathologie aviaire et parasitologie, Institut national de la recherche agronomique, 37380 Nouzilly, France
Domaine du Magneraud, St-Pierre-d'Amilly, Institut national de la recherche agronomique, BP 52, 17700 Surgères, France


© INRA, EDP Sciences 2004