[en] Oreochromis aureus ; sex determination ; sex chromosome ; pseudofemale ; monosex progeny
[en] This paper reports a study on the sex determination system of the blue tilapia, Oreochromis aureus. Investigations were carried out using a pseudofemale line in two populations of O. aureus, known as Egyptian Population (EP) and Israel Population (IP). In O. aureus, males are the homogametic sex (ZZ/ZW), and sex reversal of fry with estradiol results in the production of some functional sex-reversed fish with a female phenotype and ZZ male genotype, known as pseudofemales or A-females. Crosses between ZZ pseudofemales and ZZ males theoretically should provide monosex ZZ male progeny only. We have studied the sex ratios of progeny from 43 IP (F-2 to F-3 generations) and 51 EP (F-1 to F-5 generations), pair-matings between normal males and pseudofemales. In IP, the male percentage in progenies ranged between 83% to 100% in F-2 and 66% to 100% in F-3. In EP, male percentage was more constant, varying from 88% to 100% in F-1, from 96% to 100% in F-3 and from 97% to 100% in F-5. In EP, F-2 and F-4 pseudofemales produced only monosex male progeny. This apparent difference in sex ratio frequency distributions between the two O. aureus pseudofemale lines could be due to the selection of males. EP pseudofemales were mated with their siblings for F-2 and F-3 pseudofemales or with closely related males for F-4 and F-5 pseudofemales. Conversely, IP pseudofemales were crossed with nonrelated males originating from research center broodstock, resulting in a higher proportion of females in sex ratio of progenies from successive generations of pseudofemales. The role of inbreeding is discussed in the context of predominantly monofactorial sex chromosome determination system operating in this species, influenced by other factors (genetic and environmental). The present study also shows that it is possible to fix the male sex determining factors (Z sex chromosome and genetic factors) in a line of pseudofemales, producing a high percentage of male progeny in five successive generations. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.