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Domestication-related genetic effects on social behavior in chickens - Effects of genotype at a major growth quantitative trait locus
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Uppsala University.
Uppsala University.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2009 (English)In: Poultry Science, ISSN 0032-5791, E-ISSN 1525-3171, Vol. 88, no 6, 1162-1166 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Domestication is an evolutionary process in which animals become adapted to a life in close proximity to humans. There are typically specific selection pressures associated with this, including living in larger social groups than their wild ancestors. We hypothesized that the genotype at a major growth QTL could affect aspects of social behavior in chickens as well. We performed social behavior tests in red junglefowl (RJF) and White Leghorn (WL) chickens and in chickens from a selected advanced intercross line (SAIL) between RJF and WL, selected for different genotypes at a microsatellite marker locus within the QTL region. Four-week-old pure WL inspected strangers significantly more than pure RJF. Male 4-wk-old SAIL birds, homozygous for the WL allele at the marker locus, differed from those with RJF alleles in a similar way as the pure WL differed from RJF. Furthermore, 155- to 170-d-old male SAIL birds homozygous for the WL allele at the marker locus were less aggressive to unfamiliar conspecifics in a dominance test. The results suggest that domestication has caused changes in social behavior, which, in males, may partly depend on variations in the genotype at the growth QTL where the avian homolog of the arginine vasopressin receptor 1a (AVPR1a) is located. This gene is therefore one of several putative candidate genes for future research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 88, no 6, 1162-1166 p.
Keyword [en]
chicken, behavior, genetics, AVPR1a
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-18900DOI: 10.3382/ps.2008-00492OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-18900DiVA: diva2:222099
Available from: 2009-06-05 Created: 2009-06-05 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Correlated selection responses in animal domestication: the behavioural effects of a growth QTL in chickens
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Correlated selection responses in animal domestication: the behavioural effects of a growth QTL in chickens
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Studying animal domestication offers an opportunity to understand the mechanisms of evolution. Domestication is associated with a change in selection pressures; selection for production traits is introduced, and animals are faced with larger and denser social groups. It is not unexpected then that domestication produces a simultaneous change in a number of traits, both physiological and behavioural. This correlated change in traits, e.g. egg production and social behaviour has been termed the “domestic phenotype”. However, it has been shown that selection for one trait alone among the many associated with the domestic phenotype can lead to simultaneous changes in others. This may be a result of such traits being inherited together because of pleiotropy or close linkage of several genes affecting different traits. A chicken growth QTL has previously been found in an intercross between White Leghorn layers (WL) and their main wild ancestor, the red junglefowl (RJF). This QTL has also been found to influence explorative and social behaviours. This thesis aims to characterize this QTL further with respect to social and emotional behaviours, and tries to clarify whether pleiotropy or linkage is responsible for the many observed effects. This is done using behavioural phenotyping, genetic marker genotyping, QTL- and gene expression analysis of an intercross line between RJF and WL, and to some extent of the parental RJF and WL lines themselves. The results show that domestication in these chickens has led to increased social tolerance to unfamiliar conspecifics and a tendency to a decrease in the propensity of chickens to explore the environment, and that these effects are partly explained by the previously described growth QTL. The results also indicate that close linkage of genes, rather than pleiotropy, may be responsible for the multiple effect of the QTL, as different traits to some extent seem to be influenced by different areas within the larger QTL region. This information, in combination with that of other studies and with existing and upcoming genetic research techniques, may be used in the design of future breeding programs that take animal behaviour and welfare as well as production traits into account. Findings like these may also be of use in directing research in human psychiatric genetics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2012. 42 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1413
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-73987 (URN)978-91-7393-013-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-01-20, Planck, Fysikhuset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
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Available from: 2012-01-18 Created: 2012-01-18 Last updated: 2012-01-18Bibliographically approved

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Wiren, AndersJensen, Per

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