Mapping genes for phosphorus utilization and correlated traits using a 4k SNP linkage map in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica).


Vollmar S(1), Haas V(1), Schmid M(1), Preuß S(1), Joshi R(2), Rodehutscord M(1), Bennewitz J(1).
Author information:
(1)Institute of Animal Science, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, 70599, Germany.
(2)Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences, Faculty of Biosciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, N-1432, Norway.


A large F2 cross with 920 Japanese quail was used to map QTL for phosphorus utilization, calcium utilization, feed per gain and body weight gain. In addition, four bone ash traits were included, because it is known that they are genetically correlated with the focal trait of phosphorus utilization. Trait recording was done at the juvenile stage of the birds. The individuals were genotyped genome-wide for about 4k SNPs and a linkage map constructed, which agreed well with the reference genome. QTL linkage mapping was performed using multimarker regression analysis in a line cross model. Single marker association mapping was done within the mapped QTL regions. The results revealed several genome-wide significant QTL. For the focal trait phosphorus utilization, a QTL on chromosome CJA3 could be detected by linkage mapping, which was substantiated by the results of the SNP association mapping. Four candidate genes were identified for this QTL, which should be investigated in future functional studies. Some overlap of QTL regions for different traits was detected, which is in agreement with the corresponding genetic correlations. It seems that all traits investigated are polygenic in nature with some significant QTL and probably many other small-effect QTL that were not detectable in this study.