Genome-wide scan for selective footprints and genes related to cold tolerance in Chantecler chickens


The Chantecler chicken, a unique Canadian indigenous breed, is well adapted to extremely cold environments. However, its genetic characteristics have not been well studied. Here, we analyzed the whole genomes of 10 Chantecler chickens and 121 worldwide chickens, which indicated that Chantecler chickens were derived from commercial chickens and exhibit a high level of inbreeding. Based on a genome-wide scan, we identified two vital candidate regions containing ME3 and ZNF536, which are related to fat metabolism and nervous system in cold adaptation, respectively. We also found that the genetic mechanism of cold adaptation in Chantecler chickens differed from that of chickens from other cold regions, such as northern China. Our study indicated that specialized commercial chickens in the early 20th century contained sufficient genetic diversity to adapt to extreme cold environments over a very short time. These findings enrich our understanding of the adaptive potential of commercial species.

Publication Title

Zoological Research