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Open Access Research article

A microsatellite-based linkage map of salt tolerant tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus x Oreochromis spp.) and mapping of sex-determining loci

Feng Liu, Fei Sun, Jian Li, Jun Hong Xia, Grace Lin, Rong Jian Tu and Gen Hua Yue*

Author Affiliations

Molecular Population Genetics Group, Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, 1 Research Link, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 117604, Republic of Singapore

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BMC Genomics 2013, 14:58  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-58

Published: 28 January 2013

Abstract

Background

Tilapia is the common name for a group of cichlid fishes and is one of the most important aquacultured freshwater food fish. Mozambique tilapia and its hybrids, including red tilapia are main representatives of salt tolerant tilapias. A linkage map is an essential framework for mapping QTL for important traits, positional cloning of genes and understanding of genome evolution.

Results

We constructed a consensus linkage map of Mozambique tilapia and red tilapia using 95 individuals from two F1 families and 401 microsatellites including 282 EST-derived markers. In addition, we conducted comparative mapping and searched for sex-determining loci on the whole genome. These 401 microsatellites were assigned to 22 linkage groups. The map spanned 1067.6 cM with an average inter-marker distance of 3.3 cM. Comparative mapping between tilapia and stickleback, medaka, pufferfish and zebrafish revealed clear homologous relationships between chromosomes from different species. We found evidence for the fusion of two sets of two independent chromosomes forming two new chromosome pairs, leading to a reduction of 24 chromosome pairs in their ancestor to 22 pairs in tilapias. The XY sex determination locus in Mozambique tilapia was mapped on LG1, and verified in five families containing 549 individuals. The major XY sex determination locus in red tilapia was located on LG22, and verified in two families containing 275 individuals.

Conclusions

A first-generation linkage map of salt tolerant tilapia was constructed using 401 microsatellites. Two separate fusions of two sets of two independent chromosomes may lead to a reduction of 24 chromosome pairs in their ancestor to 22 pairs in tilapias. The XY sex-determining loci from Mozambique tilapia and red tilapia were mapped on LG1 and LG22, respectively. This map provides a useful resource for QTL mapping for important traits and comparative genome studies. The DNA markers linked to the sex-determining loci could be used in the selection of YY males for breeding all-male populations of salt tolerant tilapia, as well as in studies on mechanisms of sex determination in fish.

Keywords:
Tilapia; Salt tolerance; Breeding; Sex; Growth