Polymorphisms in the uncoupling protein 3 gene and their associations with feed efficiency in chickens

  • Jin, Sihua (College of Animal Science and Technology, Anhui Agricultural University) ;
  • Yang, Lei (College of Animal Science and Technology, Anhui Agricultural University) ;
  • He, Tingting (College of Animal Science and Technology, Anhui Agricultural University) ;
  • Fan, Xinfeng (College of Animal Science and Technology, Anhui Agricultural University) ;
  • Wang, Yiqiu (College of Animal Science and Technology, Anhui Agricultural University) ;
  • Ge, Kai (College of Animal Science and Technology, Anhui Agricultural University) ;
  • Geng, Zhaoyu (College of Animal Science and Technology, Anhui Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2018.03.19
  • Accepted : 2018.05.29
  • Published : 2018.09.01


Objective: The uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3) is a member of the mitochondrial anion carrier superfamily and has crucial effects on growth and feed efficiency in many species. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to examine the association of polymorphisms in the UCP3 gene with feed efficiency in meat-type chickens. Methods: Six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the UCP3 gene were chosen to be genotyped using matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry in meat-type chicken populations with 724 birds in total. Body weight at 49 (BW49) and 70 days of age (BW70) and feed intake (FI) in the interval were collected, then body weight gain (BWG) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were calculated individually. Results: One SNP with a low minor allele frequency (<1%) was removed by quality control and data filtering. The results showed that rs13997809 of UCP3 was significantly associated with BWG and FCR (p<0.05), and that rs13997811 had significant effects on BW70 and BWG (p<0.05). Rs13997812 of UCP3 was strongly associated with BW70, FI, and FCR (p<0.05). Furthermore, individuals with AA genotype of rs13997809 had significantly higher BWG and lower FCR (p<0.05) than those with AT genotype. The GG individuals showed strongly higher BW70 and BWG than AA birds in rs13997811 (p<0.05). Birds with the TT genotype of rs13997812 had significantly greater BW70 and lower FCR compared with the CT birds (p<0.05). In addition, the TAC haplotype based on rs13997809, rs13997811, and rs13997812 showed significant effects on BW70, FI, and FCR (p<0.05). Conclusion: Our results therefore demonstrate important roles for UCP3 polymorphisms in growth and feed efficiency that might be used in meat-type chicken breeding programs.


Supported by : Natural Science Foundation of Anhui, Anhui Agricultural University


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