Sociality in a White Leghorn x Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) cross affected by a major growth QTL
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Comparisons between the chicken ancestor, red junglefowl, and domesticated White Leghorn layers have shown that junglefowl chicks are more explorative in novel environments while layers tend to immobilize and stay closer to social stimuli. We aimed at studying if these differences between populations are connected to QTL, Growth1, identified earlier on chromosome 1, which is associated with several production and domestication related traits in fowl, for example growth. To narrow down the size of the QTL, a backcross was produced, using F3 Leghorn/junglefowl intercross males segregating along the QTL and Leghorn females. The offspring were genotyped at nine different marker positions along the QTL. The genotype at each marker position could be either heterozygous junglefowl/Leghorn or homozygous Leghorn. Ninety-two backcross chicks reared as one batch were tested after 3-h food deprivation in an L-shaped maze for 10-min. The test was the same as previously used for the parental chicks. The chicks had a free choice between food and social companions at opposite ends of the test arena. The results revealed that two chromosomal areas in the Growth1 QTL region were associated with the behavioral variables in the test. Furthermore, the differences between the two alternative marker allele genotypes closely resembled those seen between the parental stocks earlier: the heterozygous chicks behaved as junglefowl while homozygous ones acted more like Leghorns. The tendencies for the chicks to immobilize and start feeding in the test were linked to MCW106, whereas social motivation had a strong association to three adjacent markers. MCW010. UG0006 and UG0002. These results support previous studies, suggesting that this QTL has an important role in controlling domestication related traits in fowl.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-85957OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-85957DiVA: diva2:574392