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The PIT1 gene polymorphisms were associated with chicken growth traits

Qinghua Nie, Meixia Fang, Liang Xie, Min Zhou, Zhangmin Liang, Ziping Luo, Guohuang Wang, Wensen Bi, Canjian Liang, Wei Zhang and Xiquan Zhang*

Author Affiliations

Department of Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction, College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, Guangdong, China

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BMC Genetics 2008, 9:20  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-9-20

Published: 27 February 2008



With crucial roles on the differentiation of anterior pituitary and the regulation of the prolactin (PRL), growth hormone (GH) and thyroid-stimulating hormone-β (TSH-β) genes, the chicken PIT1 gene is regarded as a key candidate gene for production traits. In this study, five reported polymorphisms (MR1-MR5) of the PIT1 gene were genotyped in a full sib F2 resource population to evaluate their effects on growth, carcass and fatty traits in chickens.


Marker-trait association analyses showed that, MR1 was significantly associated with shank diameters (SD) at 84 days (P < 0.05), hatch weight (HW) and shank length (SL) at 84 days (P < 0.01), MR2 was significantly associated with BW at 28, 42 days and average daily gain (ADG) at 0–4 weeks (P < 0.05), and MR3 was significantly associated with ADG at 4–8 weeks (P < 0.05). MR4 was associated with SL at 63, 77, 84 days and BW at 84 days (P < 0.05), as well as SD at 77 days (P < 0.01). Significant association was also found of MR5 with BW at 21, 35 days and SD at 63 days (P < 0.05), BW at 28 days and ADG at 0–4 weeks (P < 0.01). Both T allele of MR4 and C allele of MR5 were advantageous for chicken growth. The PIT1 haplotypes were significantly associated with HW (P = 0.0252), BW at 28 days (P = 0.0390) and SD at 56 days (P = 0.0400). No significant association of single SNP and haplotypes with chicken carcass and fatty traits was found (P > 0.05).


Our study found that polymorphisms of PIT1 gene and their haplotypes were associated with chicken growth traits and not with carcass and fatty traits.