Marker-assisted selection for improving body weight in local chickens in Egypt

Helal, M. M., and E. A. El-Gendy, "Marker-assisted selection for improving body weight in local chickens in Egypt", The Journal of Agricultural Science, vol. 161, issue 1: Cambridge University Press, pp. 135-147, 2023. copy at


There is a need for a low-cost strategy that accelerates the genetic change in local chicken breeds. Therefore, the objective of this study is to develop a strategy for marker-assisted selection for growth in local chickens in the developing countries. The studied lines were a homozygous normally feathered selected line (CE1), homozygous naked-neck selected line (CE3) and their corresponding control lines (CE2 and CE4). Lines CE1 and CE3 have been selected for high 6-week body weight (BW) for five generations. Three generations were obtained for this study. In the current study, we consider the 6th generation as the base generation for marker-assisted selection study. Two subsequent selected generations were obtained from the base generation. The selected lines were significantly heavier at 6 weeks of age than their corresponding control lines by 24.15 and 27.07% in the base generation and by 51.4 and 34.5% in the second selected generation. A total of 34 polymorphic alleles in 19 loci were flown over generations and the flow trends were different in different lines and families within lines. Principal component analysis was applied to the data of both lines and two main components were found and three canonical correlations were obtained. Four and five alleles were persistently concomitant with the highly performed families in lines CE1 and CE3, respectively. These alleles would have brought 6-week BW into higher levels of performance by 25.1 and 16.6% in the second generation if they would have been considered in the selection for 6-week BW.



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