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Research article2015Peer reviewedOpen access

Characterization of genetic diversity and gene mapping in two Swedish local chicken breeds

Johansson, Anna M.; Nelson, Ronald M.


The aim of this paper is to study genetic diversity in the two Swedish local chicken breeds Bohuslän-Dals svarthöna and Hedemorahöna. The now living birds of both of these breeds (about 500 for Bohuslän-Dals svarthöna and 2600 for Hedemorahöna) originate from small relicts of earlier larger populations. An additional aim was to make an attempt to map loci associated with a trait that are segregating in both these breeds. The 60k SNP chip was used to genotype 12 Bohuslän-Dals svarthöna and 22 Hedemorahöna. The mean inbreeding coefficient was considerably larger in the samples from Hedemorahöna than in the samples from Bohuslän-Dals svarthöna. Also the proportion of homozygous SNPs in individuals was larger in Hedemorahöna. In contrast, on the breed level, the number of segregating SNPs were much larger in Hedemorahöna than in Bohuslän-Dals svarthöna. A multidimensional scaling plot shows that the two breeds form clusters well-separated from each other. Both these breeds segregate for the dermal hyperpigmentation phenotype. In Bohuslän-Dals svarthöna most animals have dark skin, but some individuals with lighter skin exists (most easily detected by their red comb). An earlier study of the Fm locus showed that this breed has the same complex rearrangement involving the EDN3 gene as Silkie chicken and two other studied Asian breeds. In the breed Hedemorahöna, most individuals have normal skin pigmentation (and red comb), but there are some birds with darker skin and dark comb. In this study the involvement of the EDN3 gene is confirmed also in Hedemorahöna. In addition we identify a region on chromosome 21 that is significantly associated with the trait.


chicken; SNP; comb color; genetic diversity; dermal hyperpimentation; EDN3

Published in

Frontiers in Genetics
2015, Volume: 6, article number: 44
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation / Frontiers Media

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    • Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG2 Zero hunger

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      Genetics and Breeding

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