W135 Bodyweight: genetic aspects in an experimental cat population

Date: Sunday, January 15, 2012
Time: 11:20 AM
Room: Royal Palm Salon 5-6
Thomas Häring , Institute of Animal Nutrition, Vetsuisse Faculty, University Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Brigitta Wichert , Institute of Animal Nutrition, Vetsuisse Faculty, University Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Gaudenz Dolf , Institute of Genetics, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Bianca Haase , University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Cats are among the most common household pets and they share the same environment with humans and thus many of the risk factors influencing bodyweight. Obesity and obesity-associated diseases in companion animals are among the diseases with the fastest growing prevalence worldwide and will represent a major problem for animal health in the near future. Besides food intake, food composition, and a lack of exercise, genetic factors are also believed to influence the development of obesity in cats. A striking phenotypic difference was observed in our experimental cat population and investigation of body condition scores demonstrated a significant bimodal distribution in the trait. A Complex segregation analysis was performed where the environmental model was rejected and an inheritance either driven by a major gene model or a mixed inheritance model was clearly favored. Considering the facts that the mixed inheritance and the major gene models could not be distinguished and that the estimated heritability of 0.41 (± 0.06) is substantial, we hypothesize that at least one major gene together with a polygenic component are likely to be responsible for the observed phenotypic difference. All animals belonging to our experimental cat population will be analyzed using the feline Illumina 70k SNP genotyping microarray. Based on genotyping results both, a linkage analysis and a quantitative family-based association analyses will be performed to map the chromosomal position of the putative major gene.