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Identification of candidate genes for improved reproductive efficiency in broiler breeder production - LS3101

Description
Selection for rapid growth rate and increased feed conversion efficiency in broilers is associated with poor reproductive performance. In order to reduce the number of broiler breeders required in poultry meat production and to improve their competitiveness, broiler breeder companies need improved methods to select for reproductive efficiency without reducing selection pressure for growth related traits. It may also be possible to reduce the dependence on restricted feeding to control reproductive performance with positive benefits for animal welfare.
The objective of this research is to identify genetic markers for marker-assisted selection for improved reproductive performance in broiler breeders. The research is based on the hypothesis that polymorphisms associated with "candidate" genes, identified from either QTL analysis or physiology may be used for marker assisted selection. The project will use QTL to identify candidate genes and test their validity in a commercial population.
The project will determine if markers in candidate genes are associated with reproductive performance. This work will be done in commercial broiler lines in collaboration with the Cobb Breeding Company.
The work supports MAFF's policy objective of improving the reproductive efficiency of livestock in environments that conform to UK animal welfare, food safety and environmental codes and regulations (LS31). DNA sequences for marker assisted selection for reproductive efficiency would be patentable and could be rapidly incorporated into broiler selection programmes to reduce the number of broiler breeders required in the nations poultry meat production industry. This would reduce the cost to the producer and the consumer and may have welfare benefits by reducing the requirement for food restriction.
The Roslin Institute is a world leader in farm animal genome analysis and in understanding the control of avian reproduction and brings a unique combination of skills to this project.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Identification of candidate genes for improved reproductive efficiency in broiler breeder production   (270k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2000

To: 2003

Cost: £824,890
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Roslin Institute, Edinburgh (BBSRC)
Keywords
Biotechnology              
Farming              
Genetics              
Livestock Farming              
Poultry              
Fields of Study
Livestock