Selection and breeding strategies to improve resistance to enteropathies are essential to reaching the sustainability of the rabbit production systems. However, disease heterogeneity (having only as major visible symptom diarrhoea) and low disease heritability are two barriers for the implementation of these strategies. Diarrhoea condition can affect rabbits at different life stages, starting from the suckling period, with large negative economic impacts. In this study, from a commercial population of suckling rabbits (derived from 133 litters) that experienced an outbreak of enteropathy, we first selected a few animals that died with severe symptoms of diarrhoea and characterized their microbiota, using 16S rRNA gene sequencing data. Clostridium genus was consistently present in all affected specimens. In addition, with the aim to identify genetic markers in the rabbit genome that could be used as selection tools, we performed genome-wide association studies for symptoms of diarrhoea in the same commercial rabbit population. These studies were also complemented with FST analyses between the same groups of rabbits. A total of 332 suckling rabbits (151 with severe symptoms of diarrhoea, 42 with mild symptoms and 129 without any symptoms till the weaning period), derived from 45 different litters (a subset of the 133 litters) were genotyped with the Affymetrix Axiom OrcunSNP Array. In both genomic approaches, rabbits within litters were paired to constitute two groups (susceptible and resistant, including the mildly affected in one or the other group) and run case and control genome-wide association analyses. Genomic heritability estimated in the designed experimental structure integrated in a commercial breeding scheme was 0.19-0.21 (s.e. 0.09-0.10). A total of eight genomic regions on rabbit chromosome 2 (OCU2), OCU3, OCU7, OCU12, OCU13, OCU16 and in an unassembled scaffold had significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and/or markers that trespassed the FST percentile distribution. Among these regions, three main peaks of SNPs were identified on OCU12, OCU13 and OCU16. The QTL region on OCU13 encompasses several genes that encode members of a family of immunoglobulin Fc receptors (FCER1G, FCRLA, FCRLB and FCGR2A) involved in the immune innate system, which might be important candidate genes for this pathogenic condition. The results obtained in this study demonstrated that resistance to an enteropathy occurring in suckling rabbits is in part genetically determined and can be dissected at the genomic level, providing DNA markers that could be used in breeding programmes to increase resistance to enteropathies in meat rabbits.

Genome-wide association studies for diarrhoea outcomes identified genomic regions affecting resistance to a severe enteropathy in suckling rabbits / Bovo S.; Ribani A.; Schiavo G.; Taurisano V.; Bertolini F.; Fornasini D.; Frabetti A.; Fontanesi L.. - In: JOURNAL OF ANIMAL BREEDING AND GENETICS. - ISSN 0931-2668. - ELETTRONICO. - 141:3(2024), pp. 235-364. [10.1111/jbg.12844]

Genome-wide association studies for diarrhoea outcomes identified genomic regions affecting resistance to a severe enteropathy in suckling rabbits

Bovo S.;Ribani A.;Schiavo G.;Taurisano V.;Bertolini F.;Fontanesi L.
2024

Abstract

Selection and breeding strategies to improve resistance to enteropathies are essential to reaching the sustainability of the rabbit production systems. However, disease heterogeneity (having only as major visible symptom diarrhoea) and low disease heritability are two barriers for the implementation of these strategies. Diarrhoea condition can affect rabbits at different life stages, starting from the suckling period, with large negative economic impacts. In this study, from a commercial population of suckling rabbits (derived from 133 litters) that experienced an outbreak of enteropathy, we first selected a few animals that died with severe symptoms of diarrhoea and characterized their microbiota, using 16S rRNA gene sequencing data. Clostridium genus was consistently present in all affected specimens. In addition, with the aim to identify genetic markers in the rabbit genome that could be used as selection tools, we performed genome-wide association studies for symptoms of diarrhoea in the same commercial rabbit population. These studies were also complemented with FST analyses between the same groups of rabbits. A total of 332 suckling rabbits (151 with severe symptoms of diarrhoea, 42 with mild symptoms and 129 without any symptoms till the weaning period), derived from 45 different litters (a subset of the 133 litters) were genotyped with the Affymetrix Axiom OrcunSNP Array. In both genomic approaches, rabbits within litters were paired to constitute two groups (susceptible and resistant, including the mildly affected in one or the other group) and run case and control genome-wide association analyses. Genomic heritability estimated in the designed experimental structure integrated in a commercial breeding scheme was 0.19-0.21 (s.e. 0.09-0.10). A total of eight genomic regions on rabbit chromosome 2 (OCU2), OCU3, OCU7, OCU12, OCU13, OCU16 and in an unassembled scaffold had significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and/or markers that trespassed the FST percentile distribution. Among these regions, three main peaks of SNPs were identified on OCU12, OCU13 and OCU16. The QTL region on OCU13 encompasses several genes that encode members of a family of immunoglobulin Fc receptors (FCER1G, FCRLA, FCRLB and FCGR2A) involved in the immune innate system, which might be important candidate genes for this pathogenic condition. The results obtained in this study demonstrated that resistance to an enteropathy occurring in suckling rabbits is in part genetically determined and can be dissected at the genomic level, providing DNA markers that could be used in breeding programmes to increase resistance to enteropathies in meat rabbits.
2024
Genome-wide association studies for diarrhoea outcomes identified genomic regions affecting resistance to a severe enteropathy in suckling rabbits / Bovo S.; Ribani A.; Schiavo G.; Taurisano V.; Bertolini F.; Fornasini D.; Frabetti A.; Fontanesi L.. - In: JOURNAL OF ANIMAL BREEDING AND GENETICS. - ISSN 0931-2668. - ELETTRONICO. - 141:3(2024), pp. 235-364. [10.1111/jbg.12844]
Bovo S.; Ribani A.; Schiavo G.; Taurisano V.; Bertolini F.; Fornasini D.; Frabetti A.; Fontanesi L.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/954891
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