Proteomic insight into human directed selection of the domesticated chicken Gallus gallus.

Carl J. Schmidt, Dong Kyun Kim, G. Ken Pendarvis, Behnam Abasht, Fiona M. McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chicken domestication began at least 3,500 years ago for purposes of divination, cockfighting, and food. Prior to industrial scale chicken production, domestication selected larger birds with increased egg production. In the mid-20th century companies began intensive selection with the broiler (meat) industry focusing on improved feed conversion, rapid growth, and breast muscle yield. Here we present proteomic analysis comparing the modern broiler line, Ross 708, with the UIUC legacy line which is not selected for growth traits. Breast muscle proteome analysis identifies cellular processes that have responded to human directed artificial selection. Mass spectrometry was used to identify protein level differences in the breast muscle of 6-day old chicks from Modern and Legacy lines. Our results indicate elevated levels of stress proteins, ribosomal proteins and proteins that participate in the innate immune pathway in the Modern chickens. Furthermore, the comparative analyses indicated expression differences for proteins involved in multiple biochemical pathways. In particular, the Modern line had elevated levels of proteins affecting the pentose phosphate pathway, TCA cycle and fatty acid oxidation while proteins involved in the first phase of glycolysis were reduced compared to the Legacy line. These analyses provide hypotheses linking the morphometric changes driven by human directed selection to biochemical pathways. These results also have implications for the poultry industry, specifically Wooden Breast disease which is linked to rapid breast muscle growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0289648
JournalPloS one
Issue number8 August
StatePublished - Aug 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Proteomic insight into human directed selection of the domesticated chicken Gallus gallus.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this