Journal of Applied Genetics

, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 443–448 | Cite as

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

  • Shi-Jie Lv
  • Ling Su
  • Hong Li
  • Rui-Li Han
  • Gui-Rong Sun
  • Xiang-Tao Kang
Animal Genetics • Original Paper


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.


Chicken IL-15 gene Single nucleotide polymorphism Haplotype Fatness and muscle fiber traits 



The project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (nos. 31072023 and 31101707) and the Earmarked Fund for Modern Agro-Industry Technology Research System (no. CARS-41-K04).


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Copyright information

© Institute of Plant Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shi-Jie Lv
    • 1
  • Ling Su
    • 1
  • Hong Li
    • 1
  • Rui-Li Han
    • 1
  • Gui-Rong Sun
    • 1
  • Xiang-Tao Kang
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Animal Science and Veterinary MedicineHenan Agricultural University, Henan Innovative Engineering Research Center of Poultry Germplasm ResourceZhengzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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