A novel 2-bp indel within Krüppel-like factor 15 gene (KLF15) and its associations with chicken growth and carcass traits

1. The Krüppel-like factor (KLF) family of zinc-finger transcription factors plays a critical role in cell differentiation, phenotypic modulation and physiologic function. KLF15 has been proposed to regulate adipogenesis and gluconeogenesis. The objective of this study was to establish the association between KLF15 gene polymorphism and chicken growth and carcass traits.

2. An F2resource population of Gushi chickens crossed with Anka broilers was used to investigate the genetic effects of the chicken KLF15 gene. A 2-bp indel mutation (G13781_13782del/insAG) within intron 2 was detected, and a polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism method was developed to genotype the F2 individuals.

3. Association analysis showed that the Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP) was significantly associated with chicken growth and carcass traits. The chickens with the insAG/insAG genotype generally had a significantly higher body weight and size than other genotypes. Gene expression for each genotype showed that birds carrying insAG/insAG had a higher expression level than the other genotypes.

4. The results suggested that this polymorphic site may serve as a useful target for marker assisted selection of chicken growth and carcass traits.