Associations of polymorphisms in GHRL, GHSR, and IGF1R genes with feed efficiency in chickens

Mol Biol Rep. 2014 Jun;41(6):3973-9. doi: 10.1007/s11033-014-3265-8. Epub 2014 Feb 25.


The ghrelin (GHRL), ghrelin receptor (GHSR), and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) genes have crucial effects on body weight (BW), body weight gain (BWG), feed intake (FI), and feed conversion ratio (FCR) in many species. However, few studies on associations of GHRL, GHSR, and IGF1R with BWG, FI, and FCR have been reported in chickens. In this study, 16 SNPs in GHRL, GHSR, and IGF1R genes were genotyped by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). The objective of this study was to examine the associations of GHRL, GHSR, and IGF1R genes polymorphisms with BW at 49 days (BW49) and 70 days (BW70) of age, BWG, FI, and FCR in the interval in two yellow meat-type populations with a total of 724 birds. The results showed that rs15675067 of GHRL was significantly associated with BW70, BWG, and FCR (P < 0.05). For GHSR, rs16675844 had significant effects on FI and FCR (P < 0.01), and that rs14678932 showed significant association with BWG and FI (P < 0.05). Rs14011780 of IGF1R was strongly associated with BW49, BW70, and FCR (P < 0.05). Furthermore, haplotypes based on three SNPs of rs14986828, rs15675067, and rs15675065 in GHRL were significantly associated with BW70 and FCR (P < 0.05). Meanwhile, a three-SNP haplotype comprising rs14011783, rs14011780, and rs14011776 in IGF1R showed significant effects on BW49, BW70, and FCR (P < 0.05). Therefore, it was concluded that the identified SNPs and analyzed haplotypes in this study might be useful for broiler breeding programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chickens / genetics
  • Chickens / growth & development
  • Eating / genetics*
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genotype
  • Ghrelin / genetics*
  • Meat
  • Receptors, Ghrelin / genetics*
  • Somatomedins / genetics*
  • Weight Gain / genetics


  • Ghrelin
  • Receptors, Ghrelin
  • Somatomedins