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Animal Breeding, Genetics, & Genomics

High Density Chicken SNP Chip Developed

Poultry is the third largest agricultural commodity and primary meat consumed in the U.S. To meet the growing demands of consumers, the poultry industry will need to continue to improve methods of selection in breeding programs for production traits. The field of genomics
offers great promise in providing fundamental information that can be readily translated into commercial applications. With the sequence (blueprint) of the chicken genome, the scientific challenge has shifted towards identifying genetic variation among individuals and how this contributes to differences in traits such as production. By targeted sequencing of commercial chickens, a DNA chip was designed that can simultaneously score 56,702 single nucleotide
polymorphisms (SNPs), a type of genetic marker, equally-spaced through the entire chicken genome.

This powerful tool is being applied to evaluating the power of marker-based selection methods in commercial poultry, identifying genes of agronomic importance, and more. Over 20 groups have utilized this resource to genotype over 25,000 chickens thus far.

The SNP chip was designed by scientists from the United States, The Netherlands, Canada, and France. NIFA’ AFRI and NRI competitive grant programs and the poultry breeding companies Cobb Vantress and Hendrix Genetics provided funding. For more information please contact the NRSP-8 Poultry Genome Coordinators, Drs. Jerry Dodgson (Dodgson@mus.edu) and Hans Cheng (hcheng@msu.edu).


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