Genetic Diversity Among Tilapia Species Farmed at Chita in Kilombero, Morogoro Region, Tanzania

Mussa G. Mndeme, Amon P. Shoko, Samwel M. Limbu, Chacha J. Mwita


The development of aquaculture industry in Tanzania cannot cope with the expected substantial increase in demand for fish and fish products due to several bottlenecks including unavailability of good quality feeds and fingerlings. Fish farmers often complain about slow growth rate of the farmed fish necessitating genetic characterization. This study identified and determined the genetic diversity of tilapia species farmed in Kilombero Districts at Chita earthen ponds. Fish samples were collected from nine earthen ponds belonging to small-scale fish farmers for genetic characterization. Total DNA was extracted by using the phenol-chloroform technique. The genetic diversity was calculated by using the Arlequine version 3.01. The study found that, 90% of the sampled fish at Chita were Oreochromis niloticus, while 5.5% were Bathybates minor. There was low genetic diversity in the farmed tilapia, suggesting the possibility of inbreeding effects and a limited number of founder broodstock in the populations. Therefore, successful aquaculture development in Tanzania requires well-managed and effective fish breeding programs for production of good quality fingerlings through fish genetic resources management.  
Keywords: Aquaculture, Oreochromis niloticus, identification, genetic marker.

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