, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 443-448
Date: 19 Aug 2012

Polymorphisms of the interleukin-15 gene and their associations with fatness and muscle fiber traits in chickens

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Interleukin-15 (IL-15) is a cytokine that has been proposed to modulate skeletal muscle and adipose tissue mass. In the present study, an F2 resource population of Gushi chickens crossed with Anka broilers was used to investigate the genetic effects of the chicken IL-15 gene. Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (g.31224G>A and g.31266T>G) were identified in exon 5 of the IL-15 gene by means of polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and DNA sequencing. Associations between the two SNPs and chicken fatness and muscle fiber traits were determined using linkage disequilibrium, haplotype construction, and association analysis. Both of the SNPs were associated with abdominal fat weight, leg muscle fiber diameter, and leg muscle fiber density (p < 0.05). Haplotypes of the two linked SNPs were associated with abdominal fat weight, fat thickness under the skin, and leg muscle fiber diameter (p < 0.05). The results suggested that the IL-15 gene might be associated with the causative mutation or the quantitative trait locus (QTL) controlling the fatness traits and muscle fiber traits in chickens.