Optimisation of selective breeding program for Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)

T.Q. Trong

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU

Abstract

 

The aim of this thesis was to optimise the selective breeding program for Nile tilapia in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. Two breeding schemes, the “classic” BLUP scheme following the GIFT method (with pair mating) and a rotational mating scheme with own performance selection and natural group spawning, were investigated. In the latter scheme, the aim was to mimic natural spawning conditions of Nile tilapia to reduce the time for family production; however reconstruction of pedigrees using DNA markers to monitor inbreeding is required. Parental assignment using microsatellites and SNPs showed that exclusion- and likelihood-based methods are equally good for parental assignment, provided that good marker sets with high exclusion power, such as SNPs, are available and that all parents are sampled. Prolonged family production is problematic in BLUP breeding value estimation and could be a consequence of selection for harvest weight in Nile tilapia. Using a natural mating design with single males mated to multiple females in groups, 85% of the successful spawns were collected within 20 days. Genetic correlations between harvest weight and spawning success ranged from 0.48 to 0.52, provided that the mating period is limited to 20-32 days. We conclude that Nile tilapia favour mating in groups, and that selection for harvest weight in GIFT should improve spawning success of Nile tilapia. Moreover, harvest weight and body weight at spawning have favourable genetic correlations with number of eggs, relative fecundity, and number of swim-up fry, which are the desired characteristics for Nile tilapia seed production. High-input cages and low-input ponds are the dominant production systems for tilapia in the Mekong Delta. We show that selection in nucleus ponds will produce desired correlated responses in Nile tilapia grown in river-cages. Moreover, they are expected to develop a more rotund and thicker body shape at the same length compared to fish grown in ponds. In conclusion, we recommend the use of the ‘single male, multiple females’ mating as this will reduce the generation interval by 2 months, thereby increasing genetic gain by about 20%. A rotational mating scheme, with at least 4 cohorts, can be incorporated into the GIFT selection scheme to further reduce inbreeding, to estimate pond effects and to secure the breeding material. Finally, a reliable multiplier system is important to sustain the current Nile tilapia breeding program, which can provide sufficient improved fry (>50 million per year) for the whole Mekong Delta Nile tilapia production.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • van Arendonk, Johan, Promotor
  • Komen, Hans, Co-promotor
Award date19 Jun 2013
Place of PublicationS.l.
Print ISBNs9789461735447
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • oreochromis niloticus
  • selective breeding
  • breeding programmes
  • genetic parameters
  • reproductive traits
  • spawning
  • fecundity
  • fertility
  • heritability
  • genotype environment interaction
  • growth rate
  • animal breeding
  • fish culture
  • aquaculture

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