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Genetic improvement of Israeli blue (Jordan) tilapia, Oreochromis aureus (Steindachner), through selective breeding for harvest weight

Zak, T. ; Deshev, R. ; Benet-Perlberg, A. ; Naor, A. ; Magen, I. ; Shapira, Y. ; Ponzoni, R.W. ; Hulata, G. Aquaculture Research 9 Nov 2012
 
Genetic parameters and selection responses were obtained for harvest body weight of blue tilapia (Oreochromis aureus) from data collected over three generations in a selected population. A total of 18 194 records representing 186 sires and 201 dams were used in the analysis. Within generation heritability estimates for harvest body weight ranged from 0.18 to 0.58. When data from more than one generation were included in the analysis, heritability estimates became more stable (0.33–0.40) and it was 0.33 when all data were included in the analysis. The common full-sib effect accounted for 10% of the phenotypic variance in the full data set. Heritability for survival from stocking to harvest was estimated at 0.01 and 0.09 in actual units (fitting an animal model) and in the logit (sire model) scale respectively. The genetic correlation between harvest body weight and survival was 0.22 and not significantly different from zero. The total selection response for harvest body weight over the three generations of selection measured as the difference between least-squares means of selected and control lines was 17.7%. The corresponding figure when response was measured as the difference between mean breeding values of selected and control lines was 19.6%. The average inbreeding coefficient was 0.003 after three generations of selection. These results indicate that there are good prospects for the genetic improvement of harvest body weight in blue tilapia.