Fine mapping of the chicken salmonellosis resistance locus (SAL1)

Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is a Gram-negative bacterium that has a significant impact on both human and animal health. It is one of the most common food-borne pathogens responsible for a self-limiting gastroenteritis in humans and a similar disease in pigs, cattle and chickens. In contrast, intravenous challenge with S. Typhimurium provides a valuable model for systemic infection, often causing a typhoid-like infection, with bacterial replication resulting in the destruction of the spleen and liver of infected animals. Resistance to systemic salmonellosis in chickens is partly genetically determined, with bacterial numbers at systemic sites in resistant lines being up to 1000-fold fewer than in susceptible lines. Identification of genes contributing to disease resistance will enable genetic selection of resistant lines that will reduce Salmonella levels in poultry flocks. We previously identified a novel resistance locus on Chromosome 5, designated SAL1. Through the availability of high-density SNP panels in the chicken, combined with advanced back-crossing of the resistant and susceptible lines, we sought to refine the SAL1 locus and identify potential positional candidate genes. Using a 6th generation backcross mapping population, we have confirmed and refined the SAL1 locus as lying between 54.0 and 54.8 Mb on the long arm of Chromosome 5 (F = 8.72, P = 0.00475). This region spans 14 genes, including two very striking functional candidates; CD27-binding protein (Siva) and the RAC-alpha serine/threonine protein kinase homolog, AKT1 (protein kinase B, PKB).

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