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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Developing Recombinant Congenic Strains (Rcs) in Chickens As a Tool to Study Genetic Resistance to Marek's Disease (Md)

item Yonash, Nissim
item Bacon, Larry
item Witter, Richard
item Cheng, Hans

Submitted to: World Congress of Genetics Applied in Livestock Production
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 12, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: With modern molecular genetics, it is possible to identify all the genes that contribute to the expression of a particular trait. However, most traits are controlled by numerous genes which makes the task of gene identification very difficult. One potential way to overcome this problem is to make what are called recombinant congenic strains. Essentially, these strains simplify a complex trait by making it into a series of singl genes traits. Thus, each gene can be studied in a uniform background. In this paper, we describe our initial efforts to generate these specialized strains to facilitate the study of genric resistance to a chicken virus. These strains will greatly enhance the ability of scientists to develop tests for genetic resistance. Ultimately, this will benefit the consumer as healthier chickens will be produced quicker and more economically.

Technical Abstract: Nineteen recombinant congenic strains (RCS) are under development by crossing the ADOL inbred line 63 and 72 that are Marek's disease (MD) resistant and susceptible, respectively. The F1 were backcrossed to line 63 for 2 generations, followed by yearly generations of brother-sister mating. Characterization of these RCS after 2-4 years of sib matings indicates that at least 4 strains are susceptible to MD despite the small portion (-12.5%) of the susceptible line 72 in the genome. The portion of line 72 genome in the susceptible strains was partially tested by genotyping with microsatellite markers linked to 8 regions containing QTL for MD resistance. These susceptible strains provide a valuable resource to study the complex nature of MD resistance by simplifying a multigeneic trait to a series of single gene traits.

Last Modified: 4/21/2015
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