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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Genome-wide copy number variant analysis in inbred chicken lines with different susceptibility to Marek’s disease

item Luo, Juan
item Yu, Ying
item Mitra, Apratim
item Chang, Shuang
item Zhang, Huanmin
item Liu, Ge - George
item Yang, Ning
item Song, Jiuzhou

Submitted to: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/2012
Publication Date: 2/1/2013
Publication URL:
Citation: Luo, J., Yu, Y., Mitra, A., Chang, S., Zhang, H., Liu, G., Yang, N., Song, J. 2013. Genome-wide copy number variant analysis in inbred chicken lines with different susceptibility to Marek’s disease. Genes, Genomes, and Genomics. 3:217-223. Available:

Interpretive Summary: Marek’s disease virus is an oncovirus causing a tumor disease in chickens known as Marek’s disease (MD). MD is primarily controlled by vaccination since the 1970s in the U.S. yet sporadic outbreaks occur in parts of the world each year, and therefore, MD remains a serious threat to the poultry industry and the security of human food resources. To improve the control of MD, host genetic resistance to MD has being explored and genetic markers are constantly sought for selection against MD in chickens. This study, using a recent technology, compared the genome differences of four inbred lines of chickens and identified a series of genetic markers known as the regions of copy number variation (CNV), which are a new type of mutation larger in scale than single nucleotide polymorphism. These CNVs are potentially involved in immune response and vital biological pathways. The findings may eventually help to develop better strategies for improvement of genetic resistance to MD in poultry.

Technical Abstract: Breeding of genetically resistant chickens to Marek’s disease (MD) is a vital strategy to poultry health. To find the markers underlying the genetic resistance to MD, copy number variation (CNV) was examined in inbred MD-resistant and -susceptible chicken lines. A total of 45 CNVs were found in four lines of chickens, and 28 were potentially involved in immune response and cell proliferation, etc. Importantly, two CNVs related with MD resistance were transmitted to descendent recombinant congenic lines that differ in susceptibility to MD. Our findings may lead to better strategies for genetic improvement of disease resistance in poultry.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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