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Animal Science

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Poultry Science





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White meat is the most economically valuable part of a broiler chicken. Increasing white meat relative to overall body size (white meat percentage, WM%) makes a broiler, gram for gram, a more valuable animal. However, accurately measuring WM% requires removing the bird from the breeding flock. Identification of markers for genomic regions associated with WM% would allow direct genetic selection on breeders. The objective of the current study was to identify genomic regions affecting WM% and other growth and carcass traits in an F2 cross between 2 commercial broiler lines that differed in WM%. Two commercial lines were crossed to generate 5 F1 half-sib families of each reciprocal cross type. One male from each family was crossed with 3 females from each of the other families within each reciprocal cross type. Seven F2 half-sib families, totaling 430 F2 individuals, were analyzed. Microsatellite markers (n = 73) on the 11 largest chromosomes were analyzed for associations with various growth and carcass traits by least squares interval mapping using line-cross, half-sib, combined, and parent of origin models. Sixty-eight QTL were identified at the 5% chromosome-wise level, including 6 QTL affecting WM%. Ten QTL reached 5% genome-wise significance, including 1 WM% QTL on Gga 2. The current study identified genomic regions harboring QTL affecting WM% and other carcass and growth traits, which may be useful for direct genetic selection, and also identified putative imprinted QTL in the chicken. The advantage of using multiple statistical models was evident because QTL were identified with the combined and parent of origin models that were not identified with the line-cross or half-sib models.


This article is published as McElroy, J. P., J-J. Kim, D. E. Harry, S. R. Brown, J. C. M. Dekkers, and S. J. Lamont. "Identification of trait loci affecting white meat percentage and other growth and carcass traits in commercial broiler chickens." Poultry Science 85, no. 4 (2006): 593-605. DOI: 10.1093/ps/85.4.593. Posted with permission.

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Poultry Science Association Inc.



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