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Genetic & nutritional solutions to osteoporosis in hens - AW1127

The susceptibility of laying hens to osteoporosis and bone breakage is an important welfare concern. The research will provide information on innovative long-term solutions to the problem. Studies will be carried out in lines of laying hen selected for resistence (H) or susceptibility (L) to osteoporosis to identify differences in gene experession between the lines in bone cells and shell gland tissue localisation using quantitative RT-PCR and in situ hybridisation. Candidate genes will then be mapped in the chicken genome to confirm their localisation to specific QTL for bone/shell quality and specific single nucleotide polymorphisms that differ between the H and L lines will be identified. This information will form the basis for market assisted selection procedures for improved bone quality and resistance to osteoporosis in commercial strains. Studies on vitamin E and particle sources of calcium will be carried out on hens from the lines to determine nutritional effects on bone reabsorption and partitioning on calcium between bones and shells. A nutritional way of circumventing the inverse relationship between bone and shell quality will allow complementary genetic and nutritional strategies for optimising bone and shell quality in commercial laying hens.
01: identification of differential expression of genes in bone cell and shell gland.
02: Determine effect of vitamin E on bone and cell characterisitics.
03: Determine effect of particulate calcium source on vone characteristics.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Genetic & nutritional solutions to osteoporosis in hens   (1543k)
• Final Report - Annex : Genetic & nutritional solutions to osteoporosis in hens   (1352k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2002

To: 2005

Cost: £507,435
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Roslin Institute, Edinburgh (BBSRC)
Animal Diseases              
Animal Health              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Animal Welfare