The Roslin Institute

Genetics and Genomics

Identification of genetic variation in innate immune response genes associated with resistance to chicken viral infections

A chicken with infectious bronchitis

The overall aim of this project is to detect and associate differences (coding and gene expression polymorphisms) within innate immune responsive genes with disease resistance of inbred lines of chickens to infection from both DNA and RNA viruses.

We are using Affymetrix chicken whole genome arrays to analyze the host response to infection from Marek’s disease virus (MDV), infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) and infectious bronchial virus (IBV). We will also examine gene expression differences in birds which are susceptible and resistant to each of these viruses, and thus identify genes responsible for resistance to these diseases.

Specific Objectives:

An Affymetrix microarray

  1. to define chicken genes and pathways that respond to viral challenge
  2. to define intron/exons, coding and promoter regions of viral response genes
  3. to define phylogenetic relationship of avian and mammalian viral response genes
  4. to estimate dN/dS ratios for viral response genes and relate to structure/function
  5. to define a chicken viral response gene set
  6. to identify promoter/coding sequence polymorphisms between inbred lines
  7. to associate polymorphisms with disease resistance in inbred lines
  8. to identify structure/function relationships of polymorphic sites within proteins
  9. to verify candidate promoter polymorphisms