1.Four gallinacin (GAL) genes were assessed by Polymerase Chain Reaction-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) to characterise these genes in Fayoumi (F) and Rhode Island Red (R) breeds and their crosses of Rhode Island Red × Fayoumi (½R½F) and Fayoumi × Rhode Island Red (½F½R).
2.Genes examined were GAL2, GAL3, GAL4 and GAL5. The molecular associations between the SNPs of the gallinacin genes and body weight, caecal bacterial count and the serum antibody titres of IgA, IgG and IgM were determined. In the R breed, the frequency of TC genotype was higher than TT and CC genotypes for the GAL3 gene. The GG genotype frequency was higher than AA and AG genotypes for the GAL4 gene in the other genetic groups, and the CA genotype frequency was higher than CC and AA genotypes in crosses for the GAL5 gene.
3.In all populations, the frequency of the C allele was higher than the T allele for the GAL3 gene, the G allele was higher than the A allele for the GAL4 gene and the C allele was higher than the A allele for the GAL5 gene. The observed heterozygosity in R, ½R½F and ½F½R was 0.476, 0.375 and 0.158 for the GAL3 gene, 0.458, 0.615 and 0.250 for the GAL4 gene and 0.053, 0.792 and 0.739 for the GAL5 gene, while the expected heterozygosities were 0.490, 0.430 and 0.145 for the GAL3 gene, 0.430, 0.348 and 0.219 for the GAL4 gene and 0.229, 0.478 and 0.496 for the GAL5 gene, respectively.
4.On a molecular level, the genotype TT was significantly higher for body weight than TC and CC genotypes in the GAL3 gene. Birds with the GG genotype had a significantly lower Salmonella typhimurium count than birds with AA genotype in the GAL4 gene. Birds with the genotype AA had higher significant body weights than those with CC and CA genotypes in the GAL5 gene.
5.The results indicated that the GAL3, GAL4 and GAL5 genes are potential candidates for selection programmes to improve S. typhimurium resistance and body weight in chickens.