Sex determination and genetic management in Nile tilapia using genomic techniques - PhDData

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Sex determination and genetic management in Nile tilapia using genomic techniques

The thesis was published by Khanam, Taslima, in September 2022, University of Stirling.


The PhD research studied two aspects in tilapia, firstly the analysis of sex determination in Nile tilapia (evidence of complex sex-determining systems) and secondly the genetic management of the tilapia species, using different genomic analysis approaches. This research started with the development of two techniques: minimally invasive DNA sampling from fish mucus, which was found to be suitable for standard genotyping and double-digest restriction-site associated DNA sequencing – ddRADseq; and pre-extraction pooling of tissue samples for ddRADseq (BSA-ddRADseq), which was found to be suitable for identifying a locus linked to a trait of interest (sex in this case). The first molecular evidence concerning the sex determination in genetically improved farmed tilapia (GIFT) was described using BSA-ddRADseq. Given the multiple stock origin of GIFT, surprisingly only a single locus (in linkage group 23) was found to be associated with the phenotypic sex across the population. The first evidence of LG23 influence on phenotypic sex in the Stirling population of Nile tilapia was also found. Different combinations of estrogen hormones and high temperature were tested for feminising Nile tilapia: a combined treatment of estrogen hormone and high temperature was found to be more efficient in feminising Nile tilapia than the estrogen alone. A set of species-diagnostic SNP markers were tested which were found to be suitable to distinguish pure species (O. niloticus, O. mossambicus and O. aureus), and these were used to analyse species contribution to GIFT and a selected tilapia hybrid strain. The results of the current research added novel information to our understanding of sex determination in Nile tilapia, which will be helpful in the development of marker-assisted selection in GIFT and other Nile tilapia strains towards the production of all male offspring. The methods developed also have broader applicability in genetic and genomics research.

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