Submitted to: International Marek's Disease Symposium Abstracts and Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 15, 2004
Publication Date: July 10, 2004
Citation: Cheng, H.H., Niikura, M., Hunt, H.D. 2004. Identification of novel genes involved in resistance to Marek's disease. International Marek's Disease Symposium Abstracts and Proceedings. Paper II.5. Technical Abstract: Genetic resistance to Marek's disease has been known for over 70 years. Despite this fact, very little is known about the specific genes and gene products that confer genetic resistance. Knowledge of these factors would allow for breeding enhanced genetic resistance in elite lines, elucidation of biological pathways, and rationale vaccine design. With these goals in mind, we have been implementing various genomic approaches to identify genes and gene products 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 that large amount of data produced by genomics, each method provides an additional screen to limit the number of targets to verify and characterize. Genome-wide QTL scans describe the genomic regions of interest that contain one or more genes conferring genetic resistance. Unfortunately, the level of resolution is rather large, which forces non-genetic approaches to clone the causative gene(s). Functional screens like DNA microarrays (gene profiling) and MDV-chicken protein-protein interaction assays provide information on important genes, proteins and pathways in an unbiased manner. More importantly, when these functional screens are combined with QTL, positional candidate genes can be identified and further evaluated. The identification of several MD resistance genes and immunological responses that confer MD resistance validate this approach.