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A 2,656 bp fragment of chicken ghrelin gene was cloned and SNPs were detected by PCR-RFLP and Allele Specific PCR (ASP) in 12 Chinese indigenous chicken breeds and a commercial chicken population. The results showed that there were 23 base variations and an amino acid change (Gln->Arg) in cloned chicken ghrelin gene. Three SNPs were confirmed in 13 populations and associations between this gene and growth traits of Tibetan chicken (TC) and Recessive White chicken (RW) were investigated. The results of haplotype analysis revealed that 26 haplotype genotypes were composed of eight haplotypes. The results of x2 tests indicated that there were significant differences between genotypes or haplotype genotype frequencies in some of the breeds or sexes at 0.05 or 0.01 levels. The results of ANOVA revealed that there were significant differences between genotypes or haplotype genotypes on some growth traits of TC and RW chicken breeds at 0.05 or 0.01 levels. Multiple comparisons showed that there were significant associations between genotype CT at site 71 and some growth traits of two chicken breeds and between genotype AG at site 1,215 and body weight at 16 wk of two chicken breeds, and there was a significant association between haplotype genotype CAA/CAG and body weight and shank girth at 16 wk of two chicken breeds.