The sense of bitter taste plays a critical role in animals as it can help them to avoid intake of toxic and harmful substances. Previous research had revealed that chicken has only three bitter taste receptor genes (Tas2r1, Tas2r2 and Tas2r7). To better understand the genetic polymorphisms and importance of bitter taste receptor genes (Tas2rs) in chicken, here, we sequenced Tas2rs of 30 Sichuan domestic chickens and 30 Tibetan chickens. Thirteen single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) including three nonsynonymous mutations (m.359G>C, m.503C > A and m.583A>G) were detected in Tas2r1 (m. is the abbreviation for mutation); three SNPs were detected in Tas2r2, but none of them were missense mutation; eight SNPs were detected in Tas2r7 including six nonsynonymous substitutions (m.178G>A, m.421A> C, m.787C>T, m.832G > T, m.907A> T and m.943G >A). Tajima’s D neutral test indicates that there is no population expansion in both populations, and the size of the population is relatively stable. All the three networks indicate that red jungle fowls share haplotypes with domestic chickens. In addition, we found that haplotypes H1 and HE1 were positively associated with high-altitude adaptation, whereas haplotypes H4 and HE4 showed a negative correlation with high-altitude adaptation in Tas2rs. Although, chicken has only three Tas2rs, our results showed that both Sichuan domestic chickens and Tibetan chickens have abundant haplotypes in Tas2rs, especially in Tas2r7, which might help chickens to recognize a wide variety of bitter-tasting compounds.
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