Our publication “Validated quantitative trait loci for eggshell quality in experimental and commercial laying hens” has been published as short communication in Animal Genetics.
Compromised eggshell quality causes considerable economic losses for the egg industry. Breeding for improved eggshell quality has been very challenging. Eggshell quality is a trait that would greatly benefit from marker‐assisted selection, which would allow the selection of sires for their direct contribution to the trait and would also allow implementation of measurements integrating a number of shell parameters that are difficult to measure. In this study, we selected the most promising autosomal quantitative trait loci (QTL) affecting eggshell quality on chromosomes 2, 3, 6 and 14 from earlier experiments and we extended the F2 population to include 1599 F2 females. The study was repeated on two commercial populations: Lohmann Tierzucht Rhode Island Red line (n = 692 females) and a Hy‐Line White Plymouth Rock line (n = 290 progeny tested males). We analyzed the selected autosomal QTL regions on the three populations with SNP markers at 4–13 SNPs/Mb density. QTL for eggshell quality were replicated on all studied regions in the F2 population. New QTL were detected for eggshell color on chromosomes 3 and 6. Marker associations with eggshell quality traits were validated in the tested commercial lines on chromosomes 2, 3 and 6, thus paving the way for marker‐assisted selection for improved eggshell quality.