Association of Ovocleidin-116 Polymorphisms with Egg Quality Traits of Nigerian Heavy Local Chicken Ecotype Reared in Derived Savannah
Ovocleidin-116 (OC-116) is a matrix protein observed in the hen uterine fluid during active calcification phase of shell formation. This study was carried out to identify ovocleidin-116 polymorphisms using Polymerase Chain Reaction-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method and to determine the association with egg quality traits of Nigerian Heavy Local Chicken Ecotypes. Two hundred and forty laying birds (with three eggs each) were measured for Egg Weight (EW), Eggshell Thickness (EST), Eggshell Weight (ESW) and Egg Shape Index (ESI). The PCR-RFLP products revealed G and C alleles controlling three genotypes, GG, GC and CC with frequencies of 0.6, 0.3 and 0.1 respectively. The genotypes were not distributed according to the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (χ2 = 2.4). Association studies revealed that genotypes had significant (P<0.05) relationship with EW, EST, ESI and ESW in the studied population. The GG (53.11±0.49) and GC (53.33±0.69) exhibited higher EW than the CC (45.64±1.21) genotypes while CC (0.33±0.04) had thicker shells than GG (0.31±0.01) and GC (0.31±0.02) genotypes. The ESI and ESW were higher for GG and GC genotypes. These results improve knowledge on the understanding of OC-116 polymorphisms and its potential as a candidate gene for selecting egg quality traits in Nigerian Heavy Local Chicken Ecotype.
Keywords: chicken; egg quality traits; ovocleidin-116; polymorphism; Nigerian Heavy Local Chicken Ecotype.
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