Submitted to: Animal Production World Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/28/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: With the advent of genomics and modern genetic technologies, it is now possible to identify and characterize genes of agricultural importance, especially those involved in complex traits. The key to this breakthrough is the development of comprehensive molecular genetic maps. In the late 1980's, efforts were initiated simultaneously in East Lansing, MI and Compton, UK to generate a map of the chicken genome; a third map has been initiated more recently in Wageningen, The Netherlands. All these maps continue to be enhanced by the cooperative efforts of many labs. For example, the East Lansing map now contains over 860 markers that describe 43 linkage groups with a combined length of over 3,400 cM. The utility of these framework maps is greatly enhanced by the large number of microsatellite markers and genes they contain. It is now possible to screen the majority of the genome for QTL in a resource population using solely microsatellite markers, and to identify potential candidate genes encoding these QTL due to the surprising amount of conserved gene order between the chicken and human. The ease of cloning a gene based only on its QTL phenotype will continue to improve as genetic maps become more dense, the comparative chicken/human map improves, and added physical mapping and computational resources are developed.