Submitted to: Feedinfo.com
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 2, 2003
Publication Date: September 2, 2003
Citation: Cheng, H.H. 2003. Molecular genetics and Marek's disease resistance. Feedinfo.com. Available From: http://www.feedinfo.com. Technical Abstract: Poultry is an important food source and the primary meat consumed in the U.S. As the poultry industry continues to consolidate into large national and multinational operations, animal health and disease control grow in importance. Marek's disease (MD) is a lymphoproliferative disease caused by a herpesvirus, the Marek's disease virus. MD is the most serious chronic concern and one of the greatest challenges to the poultry industry. One attractive solution is to increase the genetic resistance to MD. Ideally, selection for enhanced MD resistance would be based on simple immunological assays that are associated with MD resistance, or genetic markers for the disease resistance genes or tightly linked to them. With this goal in mind, we have been implementing various genomic approaches to identify genes, proteins, and biological pathways that are associated with resistance to MD. The rationale for using more than one approach is that the strengths of each system can be combined. Another justification is that given the large amount of data produced by genomics, each method provides an additional screen to limit the number of targets to verify and characterize. The identification of several MD resistance genes and immunological responses that confer MD resistance validate this approach.