Polymorphism of the SCNN1g Gene and its Association with Eggshell Quality

Document Type: Original Paper


1 Department of Animal Genetics and Breeding, Faculty of Animal Science, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran

2 2 Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

3 Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

4 Department of Animal Science, College of Animal Science and Aquaculture, Sari University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Sari, Iran


Eggshell quality is the main trait to assess egg quality. Marker assisted selection can be used to improve this trait. During eggshell formation, a mass of inorganic minerals is deposited. The Sodium Channel (SCNN1) gene family plays an essential role in cation transportation and SCNN1g is a member of this gene family. The objective of this study was to estimate the frequency of SCNN1g gene variants and to find its associations with eggshell quality in Hy-Line breed. 100 hens were randomly selected and their eggs and blood samples were collected. DNA was extracted and purified using the phenol-chloroform method and genotyped using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis. GLM procedure of SAS software was used to evaluate the association of SCNN1g gene polymorphism with egg weight, specific gravity, eggshell strength, eggshell weight, and eggshell thickness. Based on the polymorphism of SCNN1g gene, three genotypes were observed including AA, AG, and GG with frequencies of 0.26, 0.57, and 0.17, respectively. Genotype only had a significant effect on eggshell strength (P < 0.05). Other traits were not significantly influenced by genotypes of this gene. Therefore, introducing this gene in marker-assisted selection programs may improve eggshell strength of Hy-Line breed.


Benos DJ & Stanton BA. 1999. Functional domains within the degenerin/epithelial sodium channel (Deg/ENaC) superfamily of ion channels. Journal of Physiology, 520: 631–644. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7793.1999.00631.x
Board RG. 1982. Properties of avian egg shells and their adaptive value. Biological Reviews, 57: 1–28. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-185X.1982.tb00362.x
Canessa CM, Schild L, Buell G, Thorens B, Gautschi I, Horisberger JD & Rossier BC. 1994. Amiloride-sensitive epithelial Na+ channel is made of three homologous subunits. Nature, 367: 463–467.
Duan Z, Chen S, Sun C, Shi F, Wu G, Liu A, Xu G & Yang N. 2015. Polymorphisms in ion transport genes are associated with eggshell mechanical property. PLOS ONE, 10: e0130160. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130160
Dunn IC, Joseph NT, Bain M, Edmond A, Wilson PW, Milona P, Nys Y, Gautron J, Schmutz M, Preisinger R & Waddington D. 2009. Polymorphisms in eggshell organic matrix genes are associated with eggshell quality measurements in pedigree Rhode Island Red hens. Animal Genetics, 40: 110–114. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2008.01794.x
Eastin WC & Spaziani E. 1978. On the mechanism of calcium secretion in the avian shell gland (Uterus). Biology of Reproduction, 19: 505–518.
Enuka Y, Hanukoglu I, Edelheit O, Vaknine H & Hanukoglu A. 2012. Epithelial sodium channels (ENaC) are uniformly distributed on motile cilia in the oviduct and the respiratory airways. Histochem Cell Biol, 137: 339–353. DOI: 10.1007/s00418-011-0904-1
Fan YF, Hou ZC, Yi GQ, Xu GY & Yang N. 2013. The sodium channel gene family is specifically expressed in hen uterus and associated with eggshell quality traits. BMC Genetics, 14: 90. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2156-14-90
Hempe JM, Lauxen RC & Savage JE. 1988. Rapid determination of egg weight and specific gravity using a computerized data collection system. Poultry Science, 67: 902-907. DOI: 10.3382/ps.0670902
Jonchère V, Brionne A, Gautron J & Nys Y. 2012. Identification of uterine ion transporters for mineralisation precursors of the avian eggshell. BMC Physiology, 12: 1–17. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6793-12-10
Jonchère V, Rèhault-Godbert S, Hennequet-Antier C, Cabau C, Sibut V, Cogburn L, Nys Y &, Gautron J. 2010. Gene expression profiling to identify eggshell proteins involved in physical defense of the chicken egg. BMC Genomics, 11: 57. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-11-57
Mikhailov KE. 1997. Avian eggshells: An Atlas of scanning electron micrographs. British Ornitologists’ Club Occasional Publications, 96 Pages.
Nys Y, Bain M & Immerseel FV. 2011. Improving the safety and quality of eggs and egg products.  Oxford: Woodhead Pub, 632 Pages.
Panhéleux M, Bain M, Fernandez MS, Morales I, Gautron J, Arias JL, Solomon SE, Hincke M & Nys Y. 1999. Organic matrix composition and ultrastructure of eggshell: A comparative study. British Poultry Science, 40: 240–252. DOI: 10.1080/00071669987665
Romanoff AL & Romanoff AJ. 1949. The Avian Egg. John Wiley & Sons Inc. New York, 918 Pages.
SAS Institute.  2001. SAS /STAT user’s Guide: statistics. Release 8.2. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC.
Tyler C. 1964. Wihhelm von Nathusius 1821–1899 on avian eggshells. A Translated and Edited Version of His Work. Reading, UK: University of Reading.
Vetter AE & O'Grady SM. 2005. Sodium and anion transport across the avian uterine (shell gland) epithelium. Journal of Experimental Biology, 208: 479–486. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.01409
Yeh FC, Yang RC, Timothy BJ, Ye Z & Judy M. 1997. POPGENE, the user-friendly shareware for population genetics analysis. Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Center. Univ. Alberta.