Effect of divergent selection for intramuscular fat content on muscle lipid metabolism in chickens
Liu, Lu ; Cui, Huanxian ; Xing, Siyuan ; Zhao, Guiping ; Wen, Jie - \ 2020
Animals 10 (2020)1. - ISSN 2076-2615
Chicken - Differential lipid metabolism - Intramuscular fat - Selection - Signaling pathway
Intramuscular fat (IMF)—an important factor affecting meat quality—can be appropriately increased by genetic selection. Chicken lines divergently selected for IMF content were used in this study to investigate the mechanisms behind differential IMF deposition. Sixty 15th generation chickens were genotyped using the IASCHICK 55K single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chip. After quality control, 59 chickens and 36,893 SNPs were available for subsequent analysis. Population structure assessment indicated that the lines were genetically differentiated. Based on the top 1% paired fixation index values, three pathways were significantly (p < 0.05) enriched, and nine genes were considered candidate genes for differential IMF deposition. Differences between the lines in the expressions of representative genes involved in the above pathways were detected in 16th generation chickens. This study suggests that genetic selection for increased IMF in the pectoralis major muscle may enhance fatty acid synthesis, transport, and esterification, and reduce triglyceride hydrolysis. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) signaling pathway, glycerolipid metabolism, and fatty acid degradation pathway may have contributed to the differences in IMF deposition between the lines. These results contribute to the understanding of the genetic mechanisms behind IMF deposition, and the improvement of chicken meat quality.