Recently, tilapia have become increasingly important in aquaculture and fisheries worldwide. They are one of the major protein sources in many African countries and are helping to combat malnutrition. Therefore, maintenance and conservation genetics of wild populations of tilapia are of great significance. In this study, we report the population genetic structure and genetic diversity of the redbelly tilapia (Coptodon zillii) in three different Egyptian aquatic environments: brackish (Lake Idku), marine (Al-Max Bay), and freshwater (Lake Nasser). The habitat differences, environmental factors, and harvesting pressures are the main characteristics of the sampling sites. Three mitochondrial DNA markers (COI: cytochrome oxidase subunit I; the D-loop; CYTB: cytochrome b) were used to assess population structure differences among the three populations. The population at Lake Nasser presented the highest genetic diversity (Hd = 0.8116, H = 6), and the marine population of Al-Max Bay the lowest (Hd = 0.2391, H = 4) of the combined sequences. In addition, the phylogenetic haplotype network showed private haplotypes in each environmental habitat. Results presented here will be useful in aquaculture to introduce the appropriate broodstock for future aquaculture strategies of C. zillii. In addition, evidence of population structure may contribute to the management of tilapia fisheries in Egyptian waters.
- aquaculture introduction
- genetic diversity
- redbelly tilapia
- saltwater adaptation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Nature and Landscape Conservation