Animal Industry Report

Extension Number

ASL R3260



Summary and Implications

Local chicken enterprises in Africa are of great importance to household livelihoods but face major constraints with devastating disease outbreaks such as Newcastle disease (ND), which cause major economic losses. A study was conducted in two countries, Ghana and Tanzania, where three ecotypes in each country were challenged with a lentogenic (vaccine) strain of ND virus and various response phenotypes, including growth, anti-NDV antibody levels, and viral load from hatch to 38 days of age were taken. We estimated variance components and performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using ~2800 birds. Moderate heritabilities (0.14-0.55) of the above traits indicated that selection to improve these breeds/ecotypes for resistance to ND could be feasible. Genome-wide association analyses revealed several genomic regions that explained more than 0.5% of the genetic variance, including a candidate gene region for antibody response on chromosome 1. Future studies will characterize differences between the breeds/ecotypes, determine if large breed-specific quantitative trait loci can be identified, and evaluate the response of the same birds to endemic, velogenic ND virus strains.

Copyright Holder

Iowa State University