Skewed Allele Frequencies of an Mx Gene Mutation With Potential Resistance to Avian Influenza Virus in Different Chicken Populations

Poult Sci. 2006 Jul;85(7):1327-9. doi: 10.1093/ps/85.7.1327.


The Mx gene is considered to confer positive antiviral responses to the orthomyxovirus in many organisms. In the chicken, 1 nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (G to A) at position 2,032 of Mx cDNA was demonstrated to confer positive antiviral activity in vitro to avian influenza virus in a previous study. In the current study, 15 Chinese native chicken breeds, 4 highly selected commercial lines, and the Red Jungle Fowl were selected to detect allele frequencies of the Mx mutation. The frequencies of the favorable allele A in native breeds were 0.7241 to 0.9554, which were much higher than those (0.0565 to 0.2742) found in the commercial populations. Whereas most native breeds were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium at this locus (P > 0.01), 3 out of 4 commercial populations were not in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (P < 0.01). Selection, environment, and negative correlations between production and disease resistant traits could contribute to highly skewed frequencies of the mutation among native breeds and commercial populations. The results suggested that further studies are needed with regard to the genetic resistance to avian influenza in different populations with various domestication background and selection history.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chickens / genetics*
  • Chickens / virology
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Gene Frequency / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics*
  • Influenza in Birds / genetics*
  • Influenza in Birds / virology*
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Myxovirus Resistance Proteins


  • Myxovirus Resistance Proteins
  • GTP-Binding Proteins