Follicle characteristics and follicle developmental related Wnt6 polymorphism in Chinese indigenous Wanxi-white goose

Mol Biol Rep. 2012 Nov;39(11):9843-8. doi: 10.1007/s11033-012-1850-2. Epub 2012 Jun 20.


In birds, downy feather quantity mainly affected by the follicles. Wnt6, a secreted cysteine-rich protein, plays a key role in follicular development as an intercellular signaling molecule. The present study was to investigate the follicle development and Wnt6 polymorphism in Wanxi-white geese, a Chinese indigenous breed. In total, 300 fertilized eggs were hatched. At embryonic stage and on early birth goslings, the diameter and density of follicles from different sites were examined after sectioning and staining. The results showed that the diameter of primary feather follicles in thorax, venter, dorsum and flank had no difference at embryonic stage. In contrast, after birth, thorax and ventral feather follicles had greater diameter than those on dorsum and flank. Similarly, the primary feather follicle density was higher in thorax and venter than in dorsum and flank at embryonic stage. The secondary feather follicle diameter in flank was greater than that in other sites examined. The secondary follicle showed lush growth in E27 with thickest in ventral and thorax. Overall, follicle formed consistently in dorsal and flank, and follicle in thorax and ventral formed in another consistent way. The polymorphism study showed 2 single nucleotide polymorphisms of Wnt6 and 3 genotypes identified. Sequencing revealed two nucleotide transitions, T451C and A466G, which were synonymous mutations causing codons for aspartate and lysine to change from GAU to GAC and from AAA to AAG, respectively. This information about follicle development and Wnt6 polymorphisms would provide potential utilization in marker-assisted selection program for down feather selection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Feathers / embryology
  • Female
  • Geese / embryology*
  • Geese / genetics*
  • Genotype
  • Ovarian Follicle / embryology*
  • Ovarian Follicle / growth & development
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Wnt Proteins / genetics*
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism


  • Wnt Proteins