Molecular basis of feed efficiency in meat-type chickens
MetadataShow full item record
In poultry production, feed accounts for 50 to 70% of total cost in raising a chicken. Feed cost has increased dramatically in recent years and decreasing the amount of feed per unit of weight gain will improve efficiency of production and increase profits. The improvement of feed efficiency in chickens is lagging behind other traits such as growth and body composition. In addition, our understanding of genes that affect feed efficiency in chickens is inadequate. The explosion in molecular technology techniques has made it possible to delineate the molecular basis of feed efficiency. Genetic markers in the genes that affect feed efficiency can be developed to assist in conventional selection strategies. The general goal of this thesis is to study molecular and biological functions of genes that underlie feed efficiency and nitrogen recycling in a chicken population divergently selected for feed efficiency. Gene networks associated with residual feed intake (RFI) through transcriptional profiling of duodenum at two different ages in a chicken population divergently selected for low or high RFI were identified. The genes that were differentially expressed between chicken lines with low and hign RFI are functionally associated with residual feed intake and genetic markers can be developed in those genes to aid selection for genetic improvement.