A genome-wide association study for the fatty acid composition of breast meat in an F2 crossbred chicken population
The composition of fatty acids determines the flavor and quality of meat. Flavor compounds are generated during the cooking process by the decomposition of volatile fatty acids via lipid oxidation. A number of research on candidate genes related to fatty acid content in livestock species have been published. The majority of these studies focused on pigs and cattle; the association between fatty acid composition and meat quality in chickens has rarely been reported. Therefore, this study investigated candidate genes associated with fatty acid composition in chickens. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was performed on 767 individuals from an F2 crossbred population of Yeonsan Ogye and White Leghorn chickens. The Illumina chicken 60K significant single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotype data and 30 fatty acids (%) in the breast meat of animals slaughtered at 10 weeks of age were analyzed. SNPs were shown to be significant in 15 traits: C10:0, C14:0, C18:0, C18:1n-7, C18:1n-9, C18:2n-6, C20:0, C20:2, C20:3n-6, C20:4n-6, C20:5n-3, C24:0, C24:1n-9, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). These SNPs were mostly located on chromosome 10 and around the following genes: <italic>ACSS3</italic>,<italic> BTG1</italic>,<italic> MCEE</italic>,<italic> PPARGC1A</italic>,<italic> ACSL4</italic>,<italic> ELOVL4</italic>,<italic> CYB5R4</italic>,<italic> ME1</italic>, and<italic> TRPM1</italic>. Both oleic acid and arachidonic acid contained the candidate genes: <italic>MCEE</italic> and <italic>TRPM1</italic>. These two fatty acids are antagonistic to each other and have been identified as traits that contribute to the production of volatile fatty acids. The results of this study improve our understanding of the genetic mechanisms through which fatty acids in chicken affect the meat flavor.