Action 2 – Genetic characterisation of Italian autochthonous chicken and turkey breeds

The project aims to perform the genetic characterisation with SNP and microsatellite molecular markers in Italian autochthonous breeds within chicken and turkey species.

Task 2.1 – Genetic characterisation with SNP markers

The genetic characterisation of the Italian autochthonous chicken and turkey breeds included in the Registro Anagrafico Avicoli aims to study the variability within and among breeds, their population structure and phylogeny. A sample corresponding to 25 birds/breed will be collected; birds reared by the Partners and private farmers will be considered. In addition to the breeds listed in Table 1, Romagnola and Modenese chicken breeds, and the Romagnolo turkey breed will be included (total = 17 chicken and 5 turkey breeds). The species-specific high-density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs 600K) commercially available (Affymetrix, USA) will be used.

Partner UniPD is in charge of the genetic characterisation of the chicken breeds, including collection of biological samples, genotyping and genotyping analyses. Partner UniMi is in charge of the same activities in the turkey breeds.

Table 1 – Italian chicken and turkey breeds included in the study on genetic variability

AP Breeds
Chickens Turkeys
UniMI Mericanel della Brianza Brianzolo, Nero d’Italia
UniFI Mugellese, Valdarnese bianca .
UniPD Ermellinata di Rovigo, Robusta Maculata, Robusta Lionata, Padovana, Polverara, Pepoi, Millefiori di Lonigo Bronzato, Ermellinato di Rovigo
UniPG Ancona, Livorno
UniPI Livorno, Siciliana
UniTO Bianca di Saluzzo, Bionda Piemontese

Task 2.2 – Genetic characterisation with microsatellites markers

The genetic characterisation with microsatellite markers (panel FAO, 2011) is aimed to support the breeding management of the nucleus populations under conservation within the different Partners (Table 1), with the only exception of the turkey populations of UniMI, due to their very limited size. The study aims to assess the genetic variability within the breed populations under conservation through the determination of allele frequencies, and expected and observed heterozygosis. At least 80 birds (60F+20M) per breed are planned for genotyping.

Partner UniTO is in charge of the collection of biological samples, genotyping and genotyping analyses.

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