Open Access Research

Mapping the Naked Neck (NA) and Polydactyly (PO) mutants of the chicken with microsatellite molecular markers

Frédérique Pitel1, Régis Bergé12, Gérard Coquerelle2, Richard PMA Crooijmans3, Martien AM Groenen3, Alain Vignal1 and Michèle Tixier-Boichard2*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratoire de génétique cellulaire, Département de génétique animale, Institut national de la recherche agronomique, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan Cedex, France

2 Laboratoire de génétique factorielle, Département de génétique animale, Institut national de la recherche agronomique, 78352 Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, France

3 Department of Animal Breeding, Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences (WIAS), Wageningen Agricultural University, Postbox 338, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands

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Genetics Selection Evolution 2000, 32:73-86  doi:10.1186/1297-9686-32-1-73

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Received:16 August 1999
Accepted:25 November 1999
Published:15 January 2000

© 2000 INRA, EDP Sciences


The bulked segregant analysis methodology has been used to map, with microsatellite markers, two morphological mutations in the chicken: polydactyly (PO) and naked neck (NA). These autosomal mutations show partial dominance for NA, and dominance with incomplete penetrance for PO. They were mapped previously to different linkage groups of the classical map, PO to the linkage group IV and NA being linked to the erythrocyte antigen CPPP. An informative family of 70 offspring was produced by mating a sire, heterozygous for each of the mutations, to 7 dams homozygous recessive for each locus. Three DNA pools were prepared, pool PO included 20 chicks exhibiting at least one extra-toe, pool NA included 20 non-polydactyly chicks showing the typical phenotype associated with heterozygosity for the naked neck mutation, and pool NP included 20 chicks exhibiting neither of the mutant phenotypes. Typings were done on an ABI-373 automatic sequencer with 147 microsatellite markers covering most of the genome. An unbalanced distribution of sire marker alleles were detected between pool PO, and pools NA and NP, for two markers of chromosome 2p, MCW0082 and MCW0247. A linkage analysis taking into account the incomplete penetrance of polydactyly (80%) was performed with additional markers of this region and showed that the closest marker to the PO locus was MCW0071 (5 cM, lod score = 9). MCW0071 lies within the engrailed gene EN2 in the chicken. In the mouse, the homologous gene maps on chromosome 5, close to the hemimelic extra-toes mutation Hx. In the case of the NA locus, markers of chromosome 3 were selected because CPPP was mapped on this chromosome. Analysis of individual typings showed a linkage of 5.7 cM (lod score = 13) between the NA locus and ADL0237 in the distal region of chromosome 3q. These results contribute to connecting the former classical map to the molecular genetic map of the chicken, and open the way to the identification of the molecular nature of two developmental mutations of the chicken that are known to occur in many breeds of chickens.

chicken; gene mapping; naked neck gene; polydactyly; molecular marker


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