A cis-regulatory mutation of PDSS2 causes silky-feather in chickens. Academic Article uri icon


  • Silky-feather has been selected and fixed in some breeds due to its unique appearance. This phenotype is caused by a single recessive gene (hookless, h). Here we map the silky-feather locus to chromosome 3 by linkage analysis and subsequently fine-map it to an 18.9 kb interval using the identical by descent (IBD) method. Further analysis reveals that a C to G transversion located upstream of the prenyl (decaprenyl) diphosphate synthase, subunit 2 (PDSS2) gene is causing silky-feather. All silky-feather birds are homozygous for the G allele. The silky-feather mutation significantly decreases the expression of PDSS2 during feather development in vivo. Consistent with the regulatory effect, the C to G transversion is shown to remarkably reduce PDSS2 promoter activity in vitro. We report a new example of feather structure variation associated with a spontaneous mutation and provide new insight into the PDSS2 function.

published proceedings

  • PLoS Genet

altmetric score

  • 11.7

author list (cited authors)

  • Feng, C., Gao, Y. u., Dorshorst, B., Song, C., Gu, X., Li, Q., ... Li, N.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Feng, Chungang||Gao, Yu||Dorshorst, Ben||Song, Chi||Gu, Xiaorong||Li, Qingyuan||Li, Jinxiu||Liu, Tongxin||Rubin, Carl-Johan||Zhao, Yiqiang||Wang, Yanqiang||Fei, Jing||Li, Huifang||Chen, Kuanwei||Qu, Hao||Shu, Dingming||Ashwell, Chris||Da, Yang||Andersson, Leif||Hu, Xiaoxiang||Li, Ning

editor list (cited editors)

  • Leeb, T.

publication date

  • August 2014