When different strains or breeds of a particular species are available, the best choice is seldom immediately obvious for producers. Scientists are also interested in the relative performance of different strains because it provides a basis for recommendations to producers and it often stimulates the conduct of work aimed at unraveling the underlying biological mechanisms involved in the expression of such differences. Hence, strain or breed comparisons of some sort are frequently conducted.
The development of a saline tolerant tilapia strain able to grow fast is of importance in the Philippines, where 240 000 ha of brackish water ponds are available. To this end, founder hybridization between Oreochromis niloticus (with favorable growth traits) and O. mossambicus (with favorable salinity tolerance traits) was performed and followed by backcrossing with O. mossambicus to develop a strain highly tolerant to saline environments. Genetic selection for growth performance was subsequently conducted.
The Abbassa selection line (developed by selective breeding) and the Kafr El Sheikh commercial strain (widely used in Egypt), both Oreochromis niloticus, were compared at two stocking densities (two and four fish m-2). Harvest weight, length, depth, width and head length were recorded. The Abbassa line showed a superior harvest weight (28 per cent) over the Kafr El Sheikh strain. Males were heavier than females, but the between-sex difference was greater in the commercial than in the Abbassa line (39 and 31 per cent respectively).
One of the major steps in the innate immune response of shrimp includes the activation of serine proteinases of the pro-phenoloxidase pathway by the prophenoloxidase activation enzyme (PPAF). In this study, the cDNA encoding a serine proteinase homologue (SPH) with prophenoloxidase activating activity of Penaeus monodon (PmPPAF) was cloned and characterized.
A selection programme using Best Linear Unbiased Prediction (BLUP) method for the estimation of genetic merit was implemented by the Department of Fisheries Malaysia (DOF) in collaboration with the WorldFish Centre. This collaborative programme provided opportunities for further improvement of the GIFT strain in Malaysia. The overall aim of the present study was to evaluate the performance of GIFT strain during the long-term selection programme in Malaysia.
Genetic improvement through selective breeding has been used for millennia on crops and livestock, but up until the 1980s, little had been done to utilize this process for farmed fish. In response to the inadequate supply of tilapia seed and the deteriorating performance of the fish in many aquaculture systems in Asia, WorldFish and partners began the Genetic Improvement of Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) project to develop a faster-growing strain of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) that was suitable for both small-scale and commercial aquaculture.
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 maintenance of reference populations of Tilapia is discussed, examining genetic considerations to be taken into account to conserve the gene pool to prevent genetic drift and prevent detrimental levels of inbreeding. The importance of knowledge of the proper effective breeding number and its use in management of the reference population is described.
Africa harbours a rich biological diversity of native fish resources. Recognition of the potential to use these resources to make significant contributions towards improving African food security through aquaculture has existed for some time. A key challenge, however, is achieving compatibility between the two urgent, but sometimes conflicting, goals of reducing poverty and food insecurity in Africa through aquaculture development while paying due attention to the conservation of natural biodiversity and fish genetic resources (FiGR).
Aquaculture production systems in developing countries are largely based on the use of unimproved species and strains. As knowledge and experience are accumulated in relation to the management, feeding and animal health issues of such production systems, the availability of genetically more productive stock becomes imperative in order to more effectively use resources. For instance, there is little point in providing ideal water conditions and optimum feed quality to fish that do not have the potential to grow faster and to be harvested on time, providing a product of the desired quality.