Journal of Applied Genetics

, Volume 60, Issue 3–4, pp 393–400 | Cite as

Quantitative analysis of black blotching in a crossbred red tilapia and its effects on performance traits via a path analysis methodology

  • Aline de Assis Lago
  • Rafael Vilhena Reis-Neto
  • Tiago Teruel Rezende
  • Mayra Cristina da Silva Ribeiro
  • Rilke Tadeu Fonseca de Freitas
  • Alexandre Wagner Silva HilsdorfEmail author
Animal Genetics • Original Paper


Red tilapia is a phenotype with potential value to the tilapia industry due to its attractive skin coloration. However, the presence of black blotches scattered on the body makes these fish less valuable than blemish-free red fish. The correlation between the degree of blotching and other economic traits is important for selective breeding programs including high-performance red fish without black blotches. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the magnitude and direct and indirect effects of blotching in crossbred red tilapia on the growth rate and body measure traits using path analysis methodology. Six genetic groups were evaluated in terms of body measurements, body weight rate, and proportion of black blotching over 250 days of growth: Chitralada and Red-Stirling; crossbred F1—♀ Red-Stirling × ♂ Chitralada and ♀ Chitralada × ♂ Red-Stirling, and the introgressive crossbreeding—♀ CR × ♂ Chitralada and ♀ Chitralada × ♂ CR (C × CR). All variables showed high and positive linear correlations. Individuals with black blotches had lower coefficients of correlation with other variables (body weight and measurements); the direct and indirect effects are near zero. The path analysis indicated a lack of genetic correlation between the degree of black blotches and the economic traits of red tilapia. This facilitates the development of high growth performance red fish with blotched-free reddish skin.


Aquaculture Red tilapia Pigmentation Growth Breeding program Oreochromis niloticus 



The authors are deeply indebted to Mr. Adilson Feliciano Duarte and all the staff of Indústria Brasileira do Peixe Ltda for their assistance during the work field. Also, Dr. Philip C. Scott for his help during the image processing stage. This work was developed as part of the full requirements for the Doctoral dissertation in Animal Sciences at the Federal University of Lavras (UFLA). AWSH and RTFF are recipients of CNPq productivity scholarship.

Authors’ contribution

AAL designed the study, conducted the fieldwork, and managed the data collection. RVRN revised the manuscript and interpreted the results. TTR performed the statistical analysis. MCSR performed the image analysis. RTFF designed the study and revised the manuscript. AWSH supervised the project, wrote the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript.


This study was funded by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP #11/23752-2) and the authors thank CNPq and Minas Gerais Research Foundation for funding Aline scholarship (141583/2011-8 and BDP206-14 respectively).

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. The approval’s register of the Ethics Committee on the Use of Animal at the University of Mogi das Cruzes is 003/2013.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

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13353_2019_513_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (175 kb)
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13353_2019_513_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (448 kb)
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Copyright information

© Institute of Plant Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aline de Assis Lago
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
  • Rafael Vilhena Reis-Neto
    • 3
    • 5
  • Tiago Teruel Rezende
    • 4
  • Mayra Cristina da Silva Ribeiro
    • 2
  • Rilke Tadeu Fonseca de Freitas
    • 2
  • Alexandre Wagner Silva Hilsdorf
    • 2
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Federal Institute of EducationScience and Technology BaianoSanta InêsBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Animal SciencesFederal University of LavrasLavrasBrazil
  3. 3.São Paulo State University-UNESPRegistroBrazil
  4. 4.Agrarian Sciences CenterJosé do Rosário Vellano University-UNIFENASAlfenasBrazil
  5. 5.Aquaculture CenterSão Paulo State University-UNESPJaboticabalBrazil
  6. 6.Unit of BiotechnologyUniversity of Mogi das CruzesMogi das CruzesBrazil

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