Identifying modifiers for Frizzle feather gene expression in the FUNAAB-ALPHA local chicken


GCRF AgriFood Africa Innovation Awards Round 2





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About the project

UK-registered Partner: Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh – Kellie Watson
Africa-registered Partner: Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta – Matthew Wheto

Poultry farming is one of Africa’s biggest agricultural business opportunities. There is a market premium associated with the Frizzle feathers, however, in the FUNAAB-ALPHA (improved local African poultry breed) there appears to be a modifier that results in reduced viability of the homozygote birds that is absent in European genotypes.

Our primary aim is to identify the putative modifiers associated with the Frizzle feather gene in the FUNAAB-ALPHA. Identifying the modifier will enable us to develop strategies to maintain this important phenotype and develop future strategies to eradicate the modifier.

We propose identifying the modifier using a large segregating F2 population between European breeds and the FUNAAB-ALPHA. Using the segregating population we will collect phenotype (including feathering patterns) and genomic DNA. Focussing on homozygous Frizzle gene birds (1) and using innovative low-pass sequence information we will impute full sequence (2) to identify the modifier via homozygous haplotype deficiency.


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