Immunogenetic variability in domestic fowl







Introduction


The domestic fowl (domestic chicken) represents a basic model species for investigation in avian biology. It is also a species with great agricultural and economic importance. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) approximately 20 billion individuals of this poultry species are kept on the Earth at any moment. The annual world production of chicken meat is about 80 million tons and in eggs it climbs up to 60 million tons per year. Hence, there is no wonder that much endeavour is devoted to domestic fowl breeding worldwide, both among small-size breeders and large agricultural institutions. In many countries chicken breeding programmes are supported by government and private subjects. The breeding effort may, however, lead to improvement of the selected traits only if new genetic features (alleles) are included into the population gene pool simultaneously with preserving other valuable genetic traits. This may enable maintenance of the breed preferable physical features together with its enrichment with novel traits. To achieve this we need to understand the functional genetic variability in free-living junglefowl and domestic fowl breeds. Our knowledge of this variability is, nonetheless, still only limited. This is also truth for immunity-related genes that are responsible for individual resistance to diseases.

Fowl domestication started several thousand years ago and since then many different breeds have been created. The eldest ones appeared at several places of the Old World from genetically distinct junglefowl populations and these were at least partially shaped by the processes of natural selection that were specific to the local conditions. Most likely, this was also the case in traits involved in anti-parasite resistance and, therefore, the immunity-related genes in these breeds were probably well adapted to the parasites of their countries of origin. This state possibly lasted until the second half of the 19th century when breeding of most chicken breeds was standardised. At the same time, unfortunately, the populations of the breeds started to decrease being replaced by the commercial breeds and their hybrids. Many of these newly created breeds, however, lack the anti-parasite resistance of their ancestors and suffer more from various diseases. The presently bred ancient breeds might represent an unique reservoir of genetic material that could help new breeds to increase their disease resistance. We only need to know which breed carries which genetic traits and how the breeds differ. There is no single resistance gene, but there are many genes with a partial effect.

The ancient breeds may show us host adaptations to parasites from their past. In our project we aim to explore genetic diversity of innate immunity receptors in these breeds. We wish to use the genetic differences we find as a basis for investigation of functional dissimilarities between the individual breeds in immune responses to various parasite-borne structures. This might importantly improve our understanding of the emergence and development of poultry diseases. Our research is, however, unthinkable without kind help from purebred domestic fowl breeders.


















Basic information to our project


Project title: Pattern recognition receptor allelic diversity in domestic chicken breeds

Provider: Czech Science Foundation, project number: P502/12/P179
Responsible person: RNDr. Michal Vinkler, Ph.D.
Grant holder: Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science, Albertov 6, 12843 Praha, Czech Republic

Grant duration: 2012-2014

Project CEP subject:
GI: Agricultural animals breeding
EC: Immunology
EB: Genetics and molecular biology




Main aims


  1. To map genetic variability in six selected innate-immunity receptor genes in twenty domestic fowl breeds
  2. To describe differences in tissue expression of these genes in the breeds
  3. To identify differences in immune responses to the receptor antagonists in the breeds with distinct genotype



Breeds preferred in the initial phase of the project


The project is focused on ancient breeds as in these most functional variability may be preserved (selected according to Pavel & Tuláček 2006; Scrivener 2008):


1) Araucana (layer, 1700 AD, Chile)
2) Asil (game, 1300 BC, India)
3) Rosecomb Bantam (fancy, ancient, Java)
4) Game Shamo (game, ancient, Thailand)
5) Brabanter (fancy, 1600 AD, Germany)
6) Dorking (meat, 0 AD, Rome)
7) Silkie (fancy, ancient, China)
8) Poland (fancy, 1500 n.l., NW Europe)
9) Transylvanian Naked Neck (fancy, ancient, India)
10) Japanese Bantam (fancy, 1000 AD, China)
11) Yokohama (fancy, 1000 AD, Japan)
12) Cochin (fancy, ancient, China)
13) La Fléche (combined, 1500 AD, France)
14) Malay (game, ancient, India)
15) Minorca (layer, 1000 AD, Spain)
16) Orloff (combined, ancient, Russia)
17) Booted Bantam (fancy, 0 AD, Java)
18) Sultan (fancy, ancient, W Asia)
19) Sumatra (fancy, ancient, Sumatra)
20) Spanish (layer, 1000 AD, Rome)




Methods of genetic sample collection


Our project is dependent on collection of several types of genetic samples. These can be basically divided into DNA samples (used for isolation of deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA) and RNA samples (used for isolation of ribonucleic acid, RNA). As DNA samples we usually use small volumes of blood (ca. 100ul) that we collect from the brachial or jugular vein (see the illustration picture). For several specific applications we may also collect ca. 15 down feathers from the abdominal part of the bird. This is the least stressful method of sampling involved in our study (unfortunately it cannot be adopted to gain all the information we need). As RNA samples we use embryos from fertile eggs (which we incubate in our laboratory) or a small biopsy of skin tissue that we punch from the wing-web 6 hours after mitogen injection applied into the tissue. Neither blood nor biopsy collection causes any serious harm to a bird (the minor wounds heal rapidly), but unfortunately these samples do not allow us to perform all the analyses required. Sample collection from fertile egg is optimal for the research but the embryo is euthanized in the process. Embryo euthanasia is always performed by the most sensitive technique of cervical dislocation. Methods utilised in our research were granted by the Ethical committee of the Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague.




Project support


This project is supported by the Central expert committee of poultry breeders of the Czech Breeders’ Association. We collaborate with the Vyškov Zoological Garden.




Acknowledgement


Many breeders already helped as und thanks to their allowance to sample (biopsy-sample, blood or fertile egg) collection we have gathered a slowly growing collection of material necessary for our research. We are very grateful for this help.

The project has been supported by these breeders:


Amrock
- Mr. Lukáš Janečka (Hulín, Czech Republic)


Andalusian
- Ms. Lucia Wild (Gerlingen, Germany)


Araucana
- Mr. Jaroslav Blatský (Sousedovice, Czech Republic)
- Ms. Miloslava Bočková (Prosetín, Czech Republic)
- Ms. Daniela Dalecká (Libkov, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Jaromír Horák (Sedlec-Prčice, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Josef Kodytek (Žamberk, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Karel Novotný (Nový Hrozenkov, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Vladislav Pawlas (Karviná, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Jan Pěta (Blansko, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Alois Sedlák (Budišov, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Jiří Štěch (Lužany u Jičína, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Aleš Tománek (Libořice, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Otto Tosler (Libotov, Czech Republic)
- ZOO Vyškov (Vyškov, Czech Republic)


Asil
- Mr. Michal Jorda (Němčice, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Wolfgang Kaiser (Ebelsbach, Germany)
- Mr. Andreas Schneider (Niddertal, Germany)
- Mr. Rostislav Vlas (Slavňovice, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Jean Marc Wollenburger (France)


Australorp
- Mr. Tomáš Horinka (Nivy, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Oldřich Ječný (Raspenava, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Miroslav Kubát (Sokoleč, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Michal Novák (Machov, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Jakub Sládek (Čerčany, Czech Republic)


Barnevelder
- Mr. Hendrik Bakker (Groenekan, Netherlands)
- Mr. Antonín Flachs (Libenice, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Luděk Hlava (Libotov, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Jiří Kukla (Vašírov, Czech Republic)
- Ms. Alena Polášková (Vrbovec, Czech Republic)


Barnevelder bantam
- Mr. Miroslav Kubát (Sokoleč, Czech Republic)


Bielefelder Kennhühner
- Mr. Josef Šolc (Neděliště, Czech Republic)


Booted Bantam
- Mr. Rudolf Ehrhardt (Fritzlar, Germany)
- Mr. Jan Flídr (Černožice, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Karel Hronek (Vápensko, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Zdeňek Macháně (Náchod, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Karel Novotný (Nový Hrozenkov, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Pavel Petrovický (Praha, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Bohumil Vlasák (Nové Dvory, Czech Republic)


Brahma
- Ms. Kateřina Bryndačová (Měchenice, Czech Republic)
- Ms. Daniela Bukovská (Litice, Czech Republic)
- Ms. Daniela Dalecká (Libkov, Czech Republic)
- Ms. Olga Giesová (Dolní Tošanovice, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Jiří Popelek (Hať u Hlučína, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Rostislav Přindiš (Úžlabí, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Aleš Tománek (Libořice, Czech Republic)
- Ms. Jana Veselá (Kosobudy, Czech Republic)
- ZOO Vyškov (Vyškov, Czech Republic)


Brahma bantam
- ZOO Vyškov (Vyškov, Czech Republic)


Brakel
- Mr. Alois Balíček (Šťáhlavy, Czech Republic)


Cochin
- Wissenschaftlichen geflügelhof des BDRG (Rommerskirchen-Sinsteden, Germany)


Czech
- Mr. Zdeněk Baše (Třebechovice pod Orebem, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Jaroslav Blatský (Sousedovice, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Jan Flídr (Černožice, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Vladimír Jiránek (Český Dub, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Milan Kosík (Moravské Budějovice, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Miroslav Kubát (Sokoleč, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Zdeněk Šuba (Litovel, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Stanislav Vančat (Řitka, Czech Republic)


Czech bantam
- Mr. Michal Jorda (Němčice, Czech Republic)


Dorking
- Mr. Joachim Mojzis (Fickenhausen, Germany)


Dutch Bantam
- Mr. Petr Smolka (Žirovnice, Czech Republic)


Friesian 
- Ms. Lucia Wild (Gerlingen, Germany)


Frizzle
- ZOO Vyškov (Vyškov, Czech Republic)


Game Shamo
- Mr. Leoš Hort (Želetava, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Bernd Kirchenschläger (Lampertheim, Germany)
- Mr. Luca Pignatti (San Felice sul Panaro, Italy)
- Ms. Irena Syrová (Brandýs nad Labem, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Jean Marc Wollenburger (France)
- ZOO Vyškov (Vyškov, Czech Republic)


Hamburgh
- ZOO Vyškov (Vyškov, Czech Republic)


Japanese Bantam
- Mr. Miroslav Hertl (Stanovice, Czech Republic)
- Ms. Jitka Majrichová (Lkáň, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Josef Šolc (Neděliště, Czech Republic)
- ZOO Vyškov (Vyškov, Czech Republic)


Ko Shamo bantam
- Mr. Alois Sedlák (Budišov, Czech Republic)
- ZOO Vyškov (Vyškov, Czech Republic)


Koeyoshi
- Mr. Alois Sedlák (Budišov, Czech Republic)


Kraienköppe
- Mr. Alois Sedlák (Budišov, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Josef Šolc (Neděliště, Czech Republic)


La Fleche
- Mr. Petr Dohnal (Měřín, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Peter Ferjenčík (Bratislava, Slovakia)
- Mr. Michal Jorda (Němčice, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Chris Vollenhardt (Narsdorf, Germany)


La Fleche bantam
- Ms. Lucia Wild (Gerlingen, Germany)


Leghorn
- Mr. Luděk Hlava (Libotov, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Jaroslav Kalaš (Lípa, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Miroslav Kubát (Sokoleč, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Jiří Kukla (Vašírov, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Vít Mlčoch (Hulín, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Josef Šolc (Neděliště, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Jiří Štěpánovský (Byšice, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Jaroslav Vrba (Všepadly, Czech Republic)


Malay
- ZOO Vyškov (Vyškov, Czech Republic)


Marans
- Mr. Ralf Bergk (Wandlitz, Germany)
- Mr. Jaroslav Hladík (Lubno, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Ivan Chichmanov (Nučice, Czech Republic)
- Ms. Helena Juhászová (Nové Zámky, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Pravoslav Mahulík (Káraný, Czech Republic)


Minorca
- Mr. Adam Heglas (Hať u Hlučína, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Milan Hýsek (Tišnov, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Rudolf Kysilka (Hradištko, Czech Republic)
- Ms. Jitka Majrichová (Lkáň, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Josef Razak (Czech Republic)
- Ms. Gitta Smetanová (Chotětov, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Josef Šrytr (Radimovice, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Josef Švarc (Přistupim, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Aleš Tománek (Libořice, Czech Republic)
- Ms. Ivana Vokálková (Mělník, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Ladislav Vrátný (Uzeničky, Czech Republic)


New Hampshire
- Mr. František Stávek (Slovácká, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Jan Tomšej (Dolní Bojanovice, Czech Republic)


Ohiki Bantam
- Wissenschaftlichen geflügelhof des BDRG (Rommerskirchen-Sinsteden, Germany)


Orava
- Mr. František Křikavka (Radim, Czech Republic)


Orloff
- Mr. Leoš Hort (Želetava, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Peter Nadaždy (Ivanka pri Dunaji, Slovakia)
- ZOO Vyškov (Vyškov, Czech Republic)


Orloff bantam
- Mr. Rudolf Walter (Stuttgart, Germany)


Orpington
- Mr. Edgar Kliewe (Hohenmocker, Germany)


Padua
- Mr. Jan Mach (Čenkov, Czech Republic)


Padua bantam
- Mr. Alois Brandejs (Žďár nad Orlicí, Czech Republic)


Pekin Bantam
- Mr. Jiří Cik (Praskačka, Czech Republic)


Phoenix
- Ms. Daniela Dalecká (Libkov, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Miroslav Hertl (Stanovice, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Jakub Jerman (Libice, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Stanislav Koláček (Otmanov, Czech Republic)


Phoenix Shokoku
- Mr. Ladislav Berčík (Pitín, Czech Republic)


Plymouth Rock
- Mr. Miroslav Hertl (Stanovice, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Karel Hronek (Vápensko, Czech Republic)
- Ms. Pavla Justychová (Bzová, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Ladislav Řeháček (Sběř, Czech Republic)


Poland
- Wissenschaftlichen geflügelhof des BDRG (Rommerskirchen-Sinsteden, Germany)


Poland bantam
- Mr. Jan Šanda (Czech Republic)
- Mr. Josef Veselý (Úpice, Czech Republic)


Red jungle fowl
- ZOO Vyškov (Vyškov, Czech Republic)


Rhode-Island
- Mr. Jiří Kinkal (Lišany, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Václav Sekáč (Dvůr Králové nad Labem, Czech Republic)


Rosecomb Bantam
- Mr. Josef Beran (Olešnice, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Thomas Fritzsch (Thierfeld, Germany)
- Mr. Erwin Loos (Solingen, Germany)
- Mr. Patrik Rohrer (Pouzdřany, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Günter Schneider (Esslingen am Neckar, Germany)
- Mr. Wilfried Schröder (Langenstein, Germany)
- Mr. Josef Šolc (Neděliště, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Jan Šulc (Kostelec nad Labem, Czech Republic)
- Mr. František Verner (Kosmonosy, Czech Republic)


Sachsenhühner
- Mr. Wilfried Schröder (Langenstein, Germany)


Sebright Bantam
- Mr. Karel Karkan (Uličky, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Miroslav Kubát (Sokoleč, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Ivan Zábrana (Veletiny, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Martin Zábrana (Veletiny, Czech Republic)
- ZOO Vyškov (Vyškov, Czech Republic)


Silkie
- Mr. Josef Bryja (Studenec, Czech Republic)
- Ms. Daniela Dalecká (Libkov, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Günter Droste (Porta Westfalica, Germany)
- Mr. Jan Mach (Čenkov, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Karel Novotný (Nový Hrozenkov, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Pavel Starý (Libišany, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Aleš Tománek (Libořice, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Josef Veselý (Úpice, Czech Republic)


Silkie bantam
- Wissenschaftlichen geflügelhof des BDRG (Rommerskirchen-Sinsteden, Germany)


Spanish
- Mr. Andreas Schneider (Niddertal, Germany)


Sumavanka
- Mr. Karel Černý (Dobřichov, Czech Republic)


Sussex
- Mr. Tomáš Soukup (Včelná, Czech Republic)


Transylvanian Naked Neck
- Mr. Ralf Bergk (Wandlitz, Germany)
- Mr. Jaroslav Fanda (Skořetice, Czech Republic)
- Mr. František Hejda (Svatá Máří, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Václav Justych (Zdice, Czech Republic)
- Ms. Iveta Prombergerová (Bohdalov, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Ladislav Vrátný (Uzeničky, Czech Republic)


Transylvanian Naked Neck bantam
- Mr. Vladimír Bradna (Hradec Králové, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Josef Vanžura (Sychrov, Czech Republic)
- Mr. František Vychodil (Stařechovice, Czech Republic)


Tuzo
- Mr. Andreas Schneider (Niddertal, Germany)


Vorwerk
- Mr. Martin Klicman (Řepeč, Czech Republic)


Welsummer
- Mr. Jiří Bartoš (Hradec Králové , Czech Republic)
- Mr. Stanislav Kulanda (Krásná Hora n.Vlt., Czech Republic)
- Mr. Josef Šolc (Neděliště, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Jan Velíšek (Mladějovice, Czech Republic)


Wyandotte
- Mr. Jaroslav Boukal (Kněževes, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Luděk Hlava (Libotov, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Pavel Hrubeš (Týnec nad Labem, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Milan Komárek (Lužec nad Cidlinou, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Rudolf Kysilka (Hradišťko, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Lubomír Řezníček (Stařechovice, Czech Republic)


Yokohama
- Mr. Ladislav Hejhal (Zbislav, Czech Republic)
- Mr. Jiří Štěpánovský (Byšice, Czech Republic)


We thank all the breeders for their kind help!




Interested in this project? For closer information contact Michal Vinkler