[en] We have cloned and characterized a tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) L18 ribosomal protein gene, including the complete transcribed region and 488 bp of upstream regulatory sequences. We have also isolated two L18 cDNAs from another tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) with a few conservative nucleotide differences. Our results suggest the presence of two genes in both species. Reporter constructs were tested for transient expression in CV1 cells and in microinjected zebrafish and tilapia embryos. The tilapia L18 promoter was able to drive expression of the reporter gene in all three experiments, with no apparent preference for a particular tissue. The tilapia L18 promoter is therefore likely to be a powerful tool to drive tissue-independent gene expression in fish.