Chicken is one of the most popular domesticated species worldwide, as it can serve an important role in agricultural as well as biomedical research fields. Because it inhabits almost every continent and presents diverse morphology and traits, the need of genetic markers for distinguishing each breed for various purposes has increased. The whole genome sequencing of three different breeds (White Leghorn, Korean domestic, and Araucana) that show similar coloring patterns, with the exception of the White Leghorn breed, have confirmed previously reported genomic alterations and identified many novel variants. Additionally, the Whole Genome Re-Sequencing (WGRS) approach identified an approximately 4 kb insert within SLCO1B3 responsible for blue egg shell color. Targeted investigation of pigment-related genes corroborated previously reported non-synonymous mutations, and provided deeper insight into chicken coloring, where not a single but a combination of non-synonymous mutations in the MC1R gene is likely to be responsible for altered feather coloring.
Keywords: Araucana; Korean cattle; Korean domestic; MC1R; SLCO1B3; White Leghorn.