Comparative population genetic structure of redbelly tilapia (Coptodon zillii (Gervais, 1848)) from three different aquatic habitats in Egypt

Taha Soliman*, Walid Aly, Reda M. Fahim, Michael L. Berumen, Holger Jenke-Kodama, Giacomo Bernardi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11092-11099
Number of pages8
JournalEcology and Evolution
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • aquaculture introduction
  • genetic diversity
  • mtDNA
  • redbelly tilapia
  • saltwater adaptation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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