Genomics of the Nile Tilapia in the Congo Basin

Pilot project
Tine Huyse (RMCA)
JEMU partner: 
Carl Vangestel, Massimiliano Virgilio and Gontran Sonet
Project summary: 
Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, is native in the Levant, the Nile Basin, Northern Ethiopia and in Western Africa. It has been introduced for aquaculture purposes in the Congo Basin. However, the geographic origin, the culture forms (or wild types) and the genetic variance of the introduced tilapia are largely unknown. The objective of this project is to investigate the genomics of Nile tilapia in the Congo Basin using a phylogeographical analysis based on restriction associated DNA sequences (RADseq data). As such we aim at 1) assessing the genetic variance of introduced Nile tilapia in the Congo Basin sampled from three distinct regions (Lower, Middle and Upper Congo) and, if possible, 2) tracing the origin of the introduced fish and 3) detecting hybridization between Nile tilapia and local tilapia species (e.g. O. mweruensis; Coptodon rendalli).
Jos Snoeks (RMCA), Maarten Van Steenberge (RBINS), Michiel Jorissen (RMCA & UHasselt), Mare Geraerts (UHasselt), Maarten Vanhove (RBINS & UHasselt) and Tom Artois (Uhasselt)
Lab work progress: 
RADseq data collected
Data analysis: 
Starting date: 
Project status: 

Related project: TILAPIA.


Peer-reviewed paper:

Geraerts, M., Vangestel, C., Artois, T., Fernandes, J. M. D. O., Jorissen, M. W. P., Chocha Manda, A., Danadu Mizani, C., Smeets, K., Snoeks, J., Sonet, G., Tingbao, Y., Van Steenberge, M., Vreven, E., Lunkayilakio Wamuini, S., Vanhove, M. P. M., & Huyse, T. (2022). Population genomics of introduced Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus (Linnaeus, 1758) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Repeated introductions since colonial times with multiple sources. Molecular Ecology, 31, 3304– 3322.

Oral presentation at a conference:

Geraerts M., Huyse T., Vangestel C., Virgilio M., Sonet G., Jorissen M., Vreven E., Jos S., Vanhove M. P. & Artois T., 2019. The origin and population structure of introduced Nile tilapia populations in Central Africa In: Abstract book of Cychlid Science 2019, pp. 41, Madrid, Spain, National Museum of Natural Science (MNCN, CSIC) / Royal Botanical Garden (RJB, CSIC).

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith