Learning objectives:

  • Explain the meaning and use of “Quantitative Trait Locus (QTL)”, and “single nucleotide polymorphism”
  • List the aspects of host physiology which may be heritable features affecting disease resistance.
  • Describe the poultry diseases where host resistance may play a major part in the course and severity of infection.
  • Explain, using examples, how the resistance/susceptibility to one disease may affect the resistance/susceptibility to another disease.

Presenter biography:

Mark Fife obtained his undergraduate degree and M.Sc at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He gained a PhD from Wye College (Imperial College London) in Plant molecular genetics. He is a complex-disease geneticist with extensive experience in complex trait analysis (QTL and association studies), candidate gene mapping and molecular biology techniques in human, and more recently chicken diseases. He has produced over 40 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters in this area. He now leads the Genetics and Genomics group at the Pirbright Institute, where his work focusses on genome-wide and haplotype analysis for disease resistance in poultry . This work has culminated in the identification and characterisation of several causal genes from QTLs he previously identified for important immune traits in chickens. Mark has extensive expertise in coordinating multidisciplinary and multi-site projects, and is the principal applicant and coordinator of a number of high profile BBSRC funded projects. He contributed to the recent development of a 750K whole-genome SNP array for analysis of genetic variation in chickens and the assembly and release of genome sequences of the Pirbright Institute inbred lines. He is an active STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) ambassador which creates opportunities to inspire young people and develop their creativity, problem-solving and employability skills the UK’s future competitiveness.

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