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A genome-wide scan of selective sweeps in two broiler chicken lines divergently selected for abdominal fat content

Hui Zhang12, Shou-Zhi Wang12, Zhi-Peng Wang12, Yang Da3, Ning Wang12, Xiao-Xiang Hu4, Yuan-Dan Zhang5, Yu-Xiang Wang12, Li Leng12, Zhi-Quan Tang12 and Hui Li12*

Author Affiliations

1 Key Laboratory of Chicken Genetics and Breeding, Ministry of Agriculture, Harbin, 150030, P.R. China

2 College of Animal Science and Technology, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, 150030, P.R. China

3 Department of Animal Science, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55108, USA

4 College of Biological Science, China Agricultural University, Beijing, 100193, P.R. China

5 Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, 2351, Australia

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BMC Genomics 2012, 13:704  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-704

Published: 15 December 2012



Genomic regions controlling abdominal fatness (AF) were studied in the Northeast Agricultural University broiler line divergently selected for AF. In this study, the chicken 60KSNP chip and extended haplotype homozygosity (EHH) test were used to detect genome-wide signatures of AF.


A total of 5357 and 5593 core regions were detected in the lean and fat lines, and 51 and 57 reached a significant level (P<0.01), respectively. A number of genes in the significant core regions, including RB1, BBS7, MAOA, MAOB, EHBP1, LRP2BP, LRP1B, MYO7A, MYO9A and PRPSAP1, were detected. These genes may be important for AF deposition in chickens.


We provide a genome-wide map of selection signatures in the chicken genome, and make a contribution to the better understanding the mechanisms of selection for AF content in chickens. The selection for low AF in commercial breeding using this information will accelerate the breeding progress.

Abdominal fat; Selection signature; Extended haplotype homozygosity (EHH)