Supplementary Material for: Extent of linkage disequilibrium in chicken

Many of the economically important traits in chicken are multifactorial and governed by multiple genes located at different quantitative trait loci (QTLs). The optimal marker density to identify these QTLs in linkage and association studies is largely determined by the extent of linkage disequilibrium (LD) around them. In this study, we investigated the extent of LD on two chromosomes in a white layer and two broiler chicken breeds. Pairwise levels of LD were calculated for 33 and 36 markers on chromosomes 10 and 28, respectively. We found that useful LD (i.e. an r2 value higher than 0.3) in Nutreco chicken breed E5 (inbred) can extend to around 1 cM on chromosomes 10 and 28, although in a second region on chromosome 28 it extends to about 2.5 cM. The extent in breed Nutreco E3 (outbred) was very short in chromosome 10 (15 kb) but very much larger on chromosome 28, particularly in one region of depressed heterozygosity. The layer breed E2 (inbred) showed an extent of useful LD up to 4 cM on chromosome 10; the extent on chromosome 28 could not be assessed due to an erratic pattern of LD on that chromosome, although in one region LD appears to be in the order of 0.8 cM. This indicates that there may be very large differences in patterns of LD between different chicken breeds and different genomic regions.




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