Author(s): Su MH, Delany ME
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Abstract Ribosomal (r) DNA genotypes (rRNA gene copy number) and nucleolar phenotypes (nucleoli number and size) were studied in dam and sire commercial broiler pure lines from three primary breeder sources. Thirteen lines were studied to determine whether directionally selected broiler pure lines contain higher numbers of rRNA genes than a control line unselected for performance traits. Eight of the 13 lines exhibited rRNA gene copy averages between 261 and 331 copies, three lines had averages between 365 and 380, and two lines had average copy numbers equal to or greater than 450 rRNA genes. The overall source copy number average from one breeder company exhibited a value (402 rRNA genes) significantly different from the control value (300 rRNA genes). Nucleoli number and relative-size were examined in 9 of the 13 lines to establish ploidy and determine the population incidence of nucleolar size polymorphisms. All of the individuals examined for nucleolar phenotype expressed two nucleoli, indicating that gene copy number variation in those lines was generally unrelated to haploidy, aneuploidy, or polyploidy. A high frequency of individuals exhibited nucleolar size polymorphisms (line values of 57 to 87\%). The results suggest that multiple nucleolus organizer region (NOR) types are segregating within and among broiler pure lines and that these NOR types contain variable numbers of rRNA genes that differ in nucleogenesis capacity.
This article was published in Poult Sci
and referenced in Gene Technology