Social preference and support seeking in chickens is related to genotype on a growth QTL
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
A growth related QTL on chicken chromosome 1 has previously been shown to influence both emotionality and social behaviour in an intercross line between Red Junglefowl (RJF, ancestor of all domestic chicken breeds) and the domesticated White Leghorn layer (WL). Social support from a familiar animal has been shown to attenuate stress response in other species. In this study we therefore used the RJF×WL intercross line to investigate whether stress in the form of physical restraint affects the way birds allocate their time between familiar and unfamiliar conspecifics in a social preference test. A refined QTL study was performed, focussing on the region of the previously reported growth QTL to find possible loci affecting traits related to social preference and social support. A significant QTL was found to influence both social preference under undisturbed circumstances and social support seeking in response to stress. A WL allele at this QTL was associated with a preference for unfamiliar individuals but also with a shift towards familiar ones in response to stress. A second, suggestive, QTL also affected social support seeking, but in the opposite direction; a WL allele was associated with seeking social support from unfamiliar individuals. It is difficult to speculate on causative genes, but it is worth noting that AVPR1a (known for effects on social behaviour), AVPR2, NRCAM (related to autism) and GRIP1 (Glutamate Receptor Interacting Protein) are located this chromosomal area.
Chicken; domestication; QTL; social behaviour; social support
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-73985OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-73985DiVA: diva2:479678