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Journal of Applied Genetics 51(1), 2010, pp. 59-65

A novel single-nucleotide polymorphism of the visfatin gene and its associations with performance traits in the chicken

R-L. Han, X-Y. Lan, L-Z. Zhang, G. Ren, Y-J. Jing, M-J. Li, B. Zhang, M. Zhao, Y-K. Guo, X-T. Kang, H. Chen

Abstract: Visfatin is a peptide that is predominantly expressed in visceral adipose tissue and is hypothesized to be related to obesity and insulin resistance. In this study, a novel silent single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) was found in exon 7 of the chicken visfatin gene (also known as PBEF1) by single-stranded conformation polymorphism (SSCP) and DNA sequencing. In total, 836 chickens forming an F2 resource population of Gushi chicken crossed with Anka broiler were genotyped by XbaI forced RFLP, and the associations of this polymorphism with chicken growth, carcass characteristics, and meat quality were analyzed. Significant associations were found between the polymorphism and 4-week body weight (BW4), 6-week body weight (BW6), 4-week body slanting length (BSL4), fat bandwidth (FBW), breast muscle water loss rate (BWLR) and breast muscle fiber density (BFD) (P < 0.05), as well as 4-week breastbone length (BBL4) (P < 0.01). These observations suggested that the polymorphism in exon7 of the visfatin gene had significant effects on the early growth traits of chicken.

Key words: association analysis, chicken, forced restriction fragment length polymorphism, single-nucleotide polymorphism, visfatin.

Correspondence: H. Chen, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology for Agriculture, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, P. R. China; e-mail:

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