Background: Advances in next-generation sequencing technologies have provided an opportunity to perform population-level comparative genomic analysis to discover unique genomic characteristics of domesticated animals. Duck is one of the most popular domesticated waterfowls, which is economically important as a source of meat, eggs, and feathers. The objective of this study is to perform population and functional analyses of Korean native duck, which has a distinct meat flavor and texture phenotype, using whole-genome sequencing data. To study the distinct genomic features of Korean native duck, we conducted population-level genomic analysis of 20 Korean native ducks together with 15 other duck breeds.
Results: A total of 15.56 million single nucleotide polymorphisms were detected in Korean native duck. Based on the unique existence of non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms in Korean native duck, a total of 103 genes related to the unique genomic characteristics of Korean native duck were identified in comparison with 15 other duck breeds, and their functions were investigated. The nucleotide diversity and population structures among the used duck breeds were then compared, and their phylogenetic relationship was analyzed. Finally, highly differentiated genomic regions among Korean native duck and other duck breeds were identified, and functions of genes in those regions were examined.
Conclusions: This is the first study to compare the population of Korean native duck with those of other duck breeds by using whole-genome sequencing data. Our findings can be used to expand our knowledge of genomic characteristics of Korean native duck, and broaden our understanding of duck breeds.
Keywords: Korean duck; Population analysis; Single nucleotide polymorphism.