Fine-mapping of a locus on linkage group 23 for sex determination in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)

Anim Genet. 2011 Apr;42(2):222-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2010.02128.x. Epub 2010 Oct 27.


Genetic markers in tilapia species associated with loci affecting sex determination (SD), sex-specific mortality or both were mapped to linkage groups (LG) 1, 2, 3, 6 and 23. The objective of this study was to use these markers to fine-map the locus with the greatest effect on SD in Oreochromis niloticus. Our parental stock, full-sibs of Nile tilapia (Swansea origin), were divided into three groups: (i) untreated, (ii) feminized by diethylstilbestrol and (iii) masculinized by 17α-methyltestosterone. We analysed the first group for association of microsatellite markers representing these five LGs. The strongest association with gender was found on LG23 for marker UNH898 (χ(2) ; P=8.6×10(-5) ). Allele 276 was found almost exclusively in males, and we hypothesized that this allele is a male-associated allele (MAA). Sex-reversed individuals were used for mating experiments with and without the segregating MAA. Mating of individuals lacking the MAA resulted in all-female progeny. Mating of two heterozygotes for MAA gave rise to 81 males and 30 females. Analysis of association between gender and genotypes identified the MAA in 98.6% of males as opposed to 8.0% of females (χ(2) ; P=2.5×10(-18) ). Eight markers that flank UNH898 were genotyped to map the locus on LG23 within a confidence interval of 16-21 cM. Mating of homozygous individuals for MAA is underway for production of all-male populations.

Keywords: Oreochromis niloticus; locus; monosex progeny; sex determination; sex ratio; tilapia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Chromosome Mapping / veterinary
  • Cichlids / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genetic Loci
  • Genetic Markers / genetics
  • Genotype
  • Male
  • Microsatellite Repeats / genetics*
  • Sex Determination Processes / genetics*
  • Sex Ratio


  • Genetic Markers