Investigation of MC1R SNPs and Their Relationships with Plumage Colors in Korean Native Chicken

  • Hoque, M.R. (Department of Animal Science and Biotechnology, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Jin, S. (Department of Animal Science and Biotechnology, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Heo, K.N. (Poultry Science Division, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA) ;
  • Kang, B.S. (Poultry Science Division, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA) ;
  • Jo, C. (Department of Animal Science and Biotechnology, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Lee, J.H. (Department of Animal Science and Biotechnology, Chungnam National University)
  • Received : 2012.10.19
  • Accepted : 2013.01.11
  • Published : 2013.05.01


The melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene is related to the plumage color variations in chicken. Initially, the MC1R gene from 30 individuals was sequenced and nine polymorphisms were obtained. Of these, three and six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were confirmed as synonymous and nonsynonymous mutations, respectively. Among these, three selected SNPs were genotyped using the restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) method in 150 individuals from five chicken breeds, which identified the plumage color responding alleles. The neighbor-joining phylogenetic tree using MC1R gene sequences indicated three well-differentiated different plumage pigmentations (eumelanin, pheomelanin and albino). Also, the genotype analyses indicated that the TT, AA and GG genotypes corresponded to the eumelanin, pheomelanin and albino plumage pigmentations at nucleotide positions 69, 376 and 427, respectively. In contrast, high allele frequencies with T, A and G alleles corresponded to black, red/yellow and white plumage color in 69, 376 and 427 nucleotide positions, respectively. Also, amino acids changes at position Asn23Asn, Val126Ile and Thr143Ala were observed in melanin synthesis with identified possible alleles, respectively. In addition, high haplotype frequencies in TGA, CGG and CAA haplotypes were well discriminated based on the plumage pigmentation in chicken breeds. The results obtained in this study can be used for designing proper breeding and conservation strategies for the Korean native chicken breeds, as well as for the developing breed identification markers in chicken.


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