Poultry genome sequences: progress and outstanding challenges

Cytogenet Genome Res. 2011;134(1):19-26. doi: 10.1159/000324413. Epub 2011 Feb 19.


The first build of the chicken genome sequence appeared in March, 2004 - the first genome sequence of any animal agriculture species. That sequence was done primarily by whole genome shotgun Sanger sequencing, along with the use of an extensive BAC contig-based physical map to assemble the sequence contigs and scaffolds and align them to the known chicken chromosomes and linkage groups. Subsequent sequencing and mapping efforts have improved upon that first build, and efforts continue in search of missing and/or unassembled sequence, primarily on the smaller microchromosomes and the sex chromosomes. In the past year, a draft turkey genome sequence of similar quality has been obtained at a much lower cost primarily due to the development of 'next-generation' sequencing techniques. However, assembly and alignment of the sequence contigs and scaffolds still depended on a detailed BAC contig map of the turkey genome that also utilized comparison to the existing chicken sequence. These 2 land fowl (Galliformes) genomes show a remarkable level of similarity, despite an estimated 30-40 million years of separate evolution since their last common ancestor. Among the advantages offered by these sequences are routine re-sequencing of commercial and research lines to identify the genetic correlates of phenotypic change (for example, selective sweeps), a much improved understanding of poultry diversity and linkage disequilibrium, and access to high-density SNP typing and association analysis, detailed transcriptomic and proteomic studies, and the use of genome-wide marker- assisted selection to enhance genetic gain in commercial stocks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genetic Techniques
  • Genome*
  • Humans
  • Poultry / genetics*