Genotype by environment interaction for harvest weight, growth rate and shape between monosex and mixed sex Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)

S.K. Omasaki, H. Charo-Karisa, A.K. Kahi, H. Komen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


In Kenya, Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) is mostly grown in ponds. To avoid excessive reproduction and stunted growth, fingerlings are treated with methyl-testosterone to make all-male populations (monosex). For a national breeding programme that aims to provide genetically improved broodstock to hatcheries that supply monosex fry to smallholder pond farmers, it is important to assess the genetic correlation (rg) for traits between the mixed sex breeding candidates from the breeding nucleus and monosex production fish. The purpose of the study was to estimate genetic parameters for harvest weight (HW), daily growth coefficient (DGC) and body shape and investigate genotype by environment interaction (G × E) for these traits between mixed sex and monosex populations. Forty-eight sires and 76 dams from the F2 generation of a local O. niloticus strain, kept at Sagana Aquaculture Research Station, Kenya were used to produce 76 full-sib families. Mixed sex fry (3 days old) from each full sib family were divided into two groups of 50 individuals each. One group (monosex) was fed a diet treated with methyl-testosterone to induce sex reversal while the other group (mixed sex) was reared on a control diet. After hapa rearing, tagging and weighing, fish were randomly divided and stocked in six earthen ponds, three for mixed sex and three for monosex fish. After 5 months, fish were harvested, photographed and weighed. Genetic parameter estimates for HW, DGC, and shape were obtained on 2105 fish. Heritability estimates for HW, DGC and shape were 0.21 ± 0.03, 0.26 ± 0.04 and 0.12 ± 0.03 for mixed sex respectively. Genetic correlations for HW between monosex and mixed sex was 0.74 ± 0.14, suggesting low G × E. The corresponding rg for DGC and shape were lower; 0.59 ± 0.10, and -0.19 ± 0.11, respectively, denoting the presence of G × E. It is concluded that G × E between the mixed sex nucleus and monosex production fish is important, and that a breeding programme for Nile tilapia needs to include production performance from monosex siblings. Statement of relevance: First study that reports estimates for Genotype by treatment interaction between hormone treated monosex Nile tilapia and mixed sex Nile tilapia, and discusses the consequences for nucleus breeding programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-81
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • Genotype by environment interaction
  • Growth rate
  • Harvest weight
  • Kenya
  • Monosex
  • Nile Tilapia


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