OMIA 000240-9031 : Crest in Gallus gallus

In other species: , rock pigeon , budgerigar , ringneck dove

Mendelian trait/disorder: yes

Mode of inheritance: Autosomal Incompletely Dominant

Considered a defect: no

Key variant known: no

Cross-species summary: Also called feather-crested head.

Species-specific symbol: Cr

History: Feather-crested head is a chicken trait with a long history. As reported by Wang et al. (2012), based on Brothwell (1979), "The earliest known description of chickens with a Crest comes from the Roman author Claudius Aelianus, around the turn of the 3rd century AD. Archeological evidence indicates that crested chickens may have been among the earlier differentiated domestic varieties, having been discovered in a Roman era site in Britain that is presumed to have been active in the 4th century AD." Crest was one of the first Mendelian traits to be recorded after the rediscovery of Mendelism: it was included in the list of Mendelian traits published by Hurst (1904), and was also studied by Davenport (1906). Two decades later, it was included in the very first linkage map created for any domesticated animal species, by Serebrovsky and Petrov (1928).

Inheritance: Hurst (1904) provided evidence for single-locus incompletely dominant inheritance, which was confirmed by Davenport (1906). The symbol Cr was assigned by Dunn and Jull (1927).

Mapping: Wang et al. (2012) mapped "Crest to the HOXC cluster in the LGE22C19W28_E50C23 linkage group".

Molecular basis: Wang et al. (2012) reported "that the Crest trait is associated with ectopic expression of HOXC8 in the cranial skin where the Crest develops".

Joller et al. (2018) could find no association between the crest phenotype and markers flanking the HOXC8 gene in the Appenzeller Spitzhaubenhuhn breed and could find "no evidence of polymorphisms within the coding region of HOXC8".

The causative variant is still to be determined.


Note: the references are listed in reverse chronological order (from the most recent year to the earliest year), and alphabetically by first author within a year.
2018 Joller, S., Ammann, P., Flury, C., Drögemüller, C. :
Evaluation of HOXC8 in crested Swiss chicken. Anim Genet 49:334-336, 2018. Pubmed reference: 29774580. DOI: 10.1111/age.12674.
2015 Sun, Y., Liu, R., Zhao, G., Zheng, M., Sun, Y., Yu, X., Li, P., Wen, J. :
Genome-Wide Linkage Analysis Identifies Loci for Physical Appearance Traits in Chickens. G3 (Bethesda) 5:2037-41, 2015. Pubmed reference: 26248982. DOI: 10.1534/g3.115.020883.
2012 Wang, Y., Gao, Y., Imsland, F., Gu, X., Feng, C., Liu, R., Song, C., Tixier-Boichard, M., Gourichon, D., Li, Q., Chen, K., Li, H., Andersson, L., Hu, X., Li, N. :
The crest phenotype in chicken is associated with ectopic expression of HOXC8 in cranial skin. PLoS One 7:e34012, 2012. Pubmed reference: 22514613. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0034012.
2010 Magothe, TM., Muhuyi, WB., Kahi, AK. :
Influence of major genes for crested-head, frizzle-feather and naked-neck on body weights and growth patterns of indigenous chickens reared intensively in Kenya. Trop Anim Health Prod 42:173-83, 2010. Pubmed reference: 19579054. DOI: 10.1007/s11250-009-9403-y.
1993 Shoffner, R.N., Otis, J.S., Garwood, V.A. :
Association of Dominant Marker Traits and Metric Traits in Chickens Poultry Science 72:1405-1410, 1993. Pubmed reference: 8378215.
1979 Brothwell, D. :
Roman evidence of a crested form of domestic fowl, as indicated by a skull showing associated cerebral hernia Journal of Archaeological Science 6:291-293, 1979.
1949 Warren, DC. :
Linkage Relations of Autosomal Factors in the Fowl. Genetics 34:333-50, 1949. Pubmed reference: 17247319.
1938 Warren, D.C. :
Mapping the genes of the fowl (abstract) Genetics 23:174 only, 1938.
1935 Fisher, R.A. :
Dominance in poultry. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Series B; Biological Sciences 225:197-226 , 1935. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.1935.0011.
1934 Fisher, R.A. :
Crest and hernia in fowls due to a single gene without dominance. Science 80:288-9, 1934. Pubmed reference: 17789297. DOI: 10.1126/science.80.2074.288.
1933 Hutt, F.B. :
Genetics of the Fowl. II. a Four-Gene Autosomal Linkage Group. Genetics 18:82-94, 1933. Pubmed reference: 17246679.
Warren, D.C. :
Nine Independently Inherited Autosomal Factors in the Domestic Fowl. Genetics 18:68-81, 1933. Pubmed reference: 17246678.
1927 Dunn, L.C., Jull, M.A. :
On the inheritance of some characters of the Silky fowl Journal of Genetics 19:27-63, 1927.
1906 Davenport, C.B. :
"Inheritance in poultry". Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institution of Washington. Publication 52. :1-136, 1906.
1905 Hurst, C.C. :
Experiments with poultry. Reports to the Evolution Committee of the Royal Society II:131-154, 1905.

Edit History

  • Created by Frank Nicholas on 06 Sep 2005
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 16 Apr 2012
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 26 Nov 2012
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 15 Sep 2018
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 20 Aug 2020