Background: Domestication of the rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) has led to a multi-purpose species that includes many breeds and lines with a broad phenotypic diversity, mainly for external traits (e.g. coat colours and patterns, fur structure, and morphometric traits) that are valued by fancy rabbit breeders. As a consequence of this human-driven selection, distinct signatures are expected to be present in the rabbit genome, defined as signatures of selection or selective sweeps. Here, we investigated the genome of three Italian commercial meat rabbit breeds (Italian Silver, Italian Spotted and Italian White) and 12 fancy rabbit breeds (Belgian Hare, Burgundy Fawn, Champagne d’Argent, Checkered Giant, Coloured Dwarf, Dwarf Lop, Ermine, Giant Grey, Giant White, Rex, Rhinelander and Thuringian) by using high-density single nucleotide polymorphism data. Signatures of selection were identified based on the fixation index (FST) statistic with different approaches, including single-breed and group-based methods, the latter comparing breeds that are grouped based on external traits (different coat colours and body sizes) and types (i.e. meat vs. fancy breeds). Results: We identified 309 genomic regions that contained signatures of selection and that included genes that are known to affect coat colour (ASIP, MC1R and TYR), coat structure (LIPH), and body size (LCORL/NCAPG, COL11A1 and HOXD) in rabbits and that characterize the investigated breeds. Their identification proves the suitability of the applied methodologies for capturing recent selection events. Other regions included novel candidate genes that might contribute to the phenotypic variation among the analyzed breeds, including genes for pigmentation-related traits (EDNRA, EDNRB, MITF and OCA2) and body size, with a strong candidate for dwarfism in rabbit (COL2A1). Conclusions: We report a genome-wide view of genetic loci that underlie the main phenotypic differences in the analyzed rabbit breeds, which can be useful to understand the shift from the domestication process to the development of breeds in O. cuniculus. These results enhance our knowledge about the major genetic loci involved in rabbit external traits and add novel information to understand the complexity of the genetic architecture underlying body size in mammals.

Genomic diversity and signatures of selection in meat and fancy rabbit breeds based on high-density marker data

Ballan, Mohamad
Co-primo
;
Bovo, Samuele
Co-primo
;
Schiavo, Giuseppina;Fontanesi, Luca
2022

Abstract

Background: Domestication of the rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) has led to a multi-purpose species that includes many breeds and lines with a broad phenotypic diversity, mainly for external traits (e.g. coat colours and patterns, fur structure, and morphometric traits) that are valued by fancy rabbit breeders. As a consequence of this human-driven selection, distinct signatures are expected to be present in the rabbit genome, defined as signatures of selection or selective sweeps. Here, we investigated the genome of three Italian commercial meat rabbit breeds (Italian Silver, Italian Spotted and Italian White) and 12 fancy rabbit breeds (Belgian Hare, Burgundy Fawn, Champagne d’Argent, Checkered Giant, Coloured Dwarf, Dwarf Lop, Ermine, Giant Grey, Giant White, Rex, Rhinelander and Thuringian) by using high-density single nucleotide polymorphism data. Signatures of selection were identified based on the fixation index (FST) statistic with different approaches, including single-breed and group-based methods, the latter comparing breeds that are grouped based on external traits (different coat colours and body sizes) and types (i.e. meat vs. fancy breeds). Results: We identified 309 genomic regions that contained signatures of selection and that included genes that are known to affect coat colour (ASIP, MC1R and TYR), coat structure (LIPH), and body size (LCORL/NCAPG, COL11A1 and HOXD) in rabbits and that characterize the investigated breeds. Their identification proves the suitability of the applied methodologies for capturing recent selection events. Other regions included novel candidate genes that might contribute to the phenotypic variation among the analyzed breeds, including genes for pigmentation-related traits (EDNRA, EDNRB, MITF and OCA2) and body size, with a strong candidate for dwarfism in rabbit (COL2A1). Conclusions: We report a genome-wide view of genetic loci that underlie the main phenotypic differences in the analyzed rabbit breeds, which can be useful to understand the shift from the domestication process to the development of breeds in O. cuniculus. These results enhance our knowledge about the major genetic loci involved in rabbit external traits and add novel information to understand the complexity of the genetic architecture underlying body size in mammals.
Ballan, Mohamad; Bovo, Samuele; Schiavo, Giuseppina; Schiavitto, Michele; Negrini, Riccardo; Fontanesi, Luca
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/849528
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