Mapping of susceptibility to Marek's disease within the major histocompatibility (B) complex by refined typing of White Leghorn chickens
Hepkema, B.G.; Blankert, J.J.; Albers, G.A.; Tilanus, M.G.; Egberts, E.; van der Zijpp, A.J.; Hensen, E.J.
Animal Genetics 24(4): 283-287
The major histocompatibility (B) complex of a distinct commercial pure White Leghorn chicken line was characterized using serological, biochemical and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) typing. Line B chickens displayed a high recombination frequency within the B complex. Three recombinant haplotypes were identified. The influence of these haplotypes was determined in relation to the haplotypes B19 and B21 on their resistance to Marek's disease (MD) in an experimental infection with the virus. Offspring of sires with a recombinant haplotype in combination with B19 or B21, and dams, which were homozygous B19/B19 or B21/B21 were infected. The B type of the offspring had a significant effect upon survival. Animals with B complex types B21/B21, B134/B21 and B234/B21 were relatively resistant to MD (24-32% mortality), whereas B19/B19 birds were highly susceptible (68% mortality). Animals with a recombinant haplotype B19r21 (B-G21, B-F19) were equally susceptible to MD as birds with the complete B19 haplotype. In contrast to earlier publications, resistance was not inherited as a dominant trait. Apparently, B19 was associated with a dominant susceptibility. The gene(s) associated with the B complex and involved in resistance to MD were localized within the B-F/B-L region. However, the association with a presumably non-coding subregion of B-G could not be excluded.