Genotype by production environment interaction in the GIFT strain of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)

Three discrete generations of GIFT fish (Nile tilapia strain, Oreochromis niloticus; a total of 10,065 fish with pedigree and phenotypic information) were tested in pond and cage culture environments to determine genotype by production environment interaction between both environments in Malaysia. Live weight (selected trait), standard length, body depth and width were recorded. A bivariate animal model was used to estimate variance and covariance components, whereby the homologous body traits in pond and cage environments were treated as genetically distinct traits. The heritabilities estimated for these body traits ranged from 0.19 to 0.40 in the pond environment, and from 0.23 to 0.34 in the cage environment. Across all traits the maternal common environmental effects ranged from 0.14 to 0.26 and were greater for the pond than for the cage environment. The genetic correlations between the pond and cage environments were 0.73 ± 0.09 for live weight, 0.81 ± 0.09 for standard length, 0.78 ± 0.10 for body depth, and 0.85 ± 0.13 for body width. Coupled with the total selection responses for live weight after two generations of selection, being 35% for the pond environment and 45% for the cage environment, we concluded that genotype by environment interaction for GIFT strain between pond and cage environments was not important. Hence, it would not be necessary to have two separate selective breeding programs for the GIFT strain in Malaysia.


Khaw, H.L., Ponzoni, R.W., Hamzah, A., Abu-Bakar, K.R., Bijma, P. (2012)
Aquaculture 326-329: 53-60