Crossed beaks in a local Swiss chicken breed.

Joller, Sara; Bertschinger, Flurina; Kump, Erwin; Spiri, Astrid; von Rotz, Alois; Schweizer, Daniela Esther; Drögemüller, Cord; Flury, Christine (2018). Crossed beaks in a local Swiss chicken breed. BMC veterinary research, 14(1), p. 68. BioMed Central 10.1186/s12917-018-1398-z

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BACKGROUND Crossed beaks have been reported to occur in Appenzeller Barthuhn, a local Swiss chicken breed. The assumed causes for this beak deformity which are also seen in other bird species including domestic chickens, range from environmental influences to genetic factors. The aim of this project was to characterize the prevalence, the phenotype, and the underlying genetics of crossed beaks in Appenzeller Barthuhn chickens. RESULTS The estimated prevalence of 7% crossed beaks in Appenzeller Barthuhn was significantly higher compared to two other local Swiss chicken breeds. A breeding trial showed significantly higher prevalence of offspring with deformed beaks from mating of affected parents compared to mating of non-affected parents. Examination of 77 Appenzeller Barthuhn chickens with crossed beaks showed a variable phenotype presentation. The deviation of the beak from the median plane through the head ranged from 1° to 61°. In more than 60% of the cases, the upper and lower beak were bent in the same direction, whereas the remaining cases showed different forms of crossed beaks. Computed tomographic scans and bone maceration of the head of two chickens with crossed beaks revealed that the maxilla and the mandibula were affected, while other parts of the skull appeared to be normal. The gene LOC426217, a member of the keratin family, was postulated as a candidate gene for beak deformity in domestic chickens. Sequencing of the coding region revealed two significantly associated synonymous variants for crossed beaks in Appenzeller Barthuhn chickens. A genome-wide association study and a comparative analysis of runs of homozygosity based on high-density SNP array genotyping data of 53 cases and 102 controls showed no evidence of association. CONCLUSIONS The findings suggest a hereditary cause of crossed beaks in Appenzeller Barthuhn chickens. However, the observed variation in the phenotype, together with the inconclusive molecular genetic results indicates the need for additional research to unravel the genetic architecture of this beak deformity.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > DKV - Clinical Radiology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Anatomy
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Institute of Genetics
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Joller, Sara; von Rotz, Alois; Schweizer, Daniela Esther and Drögemüller, Cord

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

1746-6148

Publisher:

BioMed Central

Language:

English

Submitter:

Cord Drögemüller

Date Deposited:

18 Apr 2018 08:29

Last Modified:

18 Apr 2018 08:29

Publisher DOI:

10.1186/s12917-018-1398-z

PubMed ID:

29506524

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Beak deformity Congenital anomaly GWAS Indigenous breed LOC426217

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.112583

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/112583

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