Hy-Line Scientists Publish in Respected Journal

GLOBAL - In a special supplemental volume devoted to Marek’s disease research of the quarterly poultry research journal, "Avian Diseases", two papers were authored by the Hy-Line International Research & Development scientific team.
calendar icon 20 August 2013
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The papers combined work of two of Hy-Line's industry-leading research programs: selection for improved resistance to the Marek’s disease virus and genomic selection.

For over 20 years, Hy-Line has conducted a unique Marek's disease resistance study every generation of elite egg-laying lines.

This program has resulted in significantly improved resistance of Hy-Line products against the Marek's disease virus.

The genomic selection study identified those specific chromosomal regions that contain genes that affect the birds’ ability to survive following Marek’s disease infection.

Dr Janet Fulton led a group that included geneticists and veterinarians in a study titled Improving the Outcome of a Marek's Disease Challenge in Multiple Lines of Egg Type Chickens.

The study summarized results from 11 generations and clearly demonstrated improvement in the survivability following Marek’s disease infection.

In addition, the research demonstrated the importance of the Major Histocompatibility Complex in providing Marek's disease resistance in brown egg layer lines - a fact previously only recognized in white egg layer lines.

An interesting aspect of this study was that it utilized the 15 generation DNA archive that Hy-Line has maintained.

This unique resource allows Hy-Line scientists to examine the genetics of all birds in the selection program of the past 15 generations using new tests and tools as they become available and further validate previous selection decisions.

The second study involved collaboration between scientists from Hy-Line, Iowa State University and Poznan University of Life Sciences in Poland.

Dr Anna Wolc is the common link between the three institutions having worked at both universities and recently has joined the Hy-Line research team.

In this study several statistical models were used to confirm previous research which presumed relationships between genomic regions and Marek's disease resistance.

Also new genomic regions were identified which contribute to survival in the Hy-Line challenge model.

These are significant steps to be used to validate the Genomic Selection improvements used in the Hy-Line selection program.

Of further interest, this knowledge further advances the understanding and improvement of genetic resistance to the Marek’s Disease Virus which is of great economic importance to the poultry industry and serves as a model for human cancer research.

Further Reading

Find out more information on Marek's disease by clicking here.

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