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Egyptian fish farms have faced unexplained mortality of tilapia during the summer months in recent years. Epidemiological surveys indicated that 37% of fish farms were affected in 2015 with an average mortality rate of 9.2% and a potential economic impact of around US$ 100 million. Despite a number of researchers and organizations investigating potential causes results so far have been inconclusive.

The development of genomic markers is described for Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, using the Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT) genotype-by-sequencing platform. A total of 13 215 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers and 12 490 silicoDArT (dominant) markers were identified from broodstock of two selective breeding programs [Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) strain from Malaysia and the Abbassa strain from Egypt].

Selection for increased body weight at harvest in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) was carried out for five generations from 1991 to 1996, as a part of the project Genetic Improvement of Farmed Tilapias (GIFT). The base population for selection was composed of a mixture of various three- and four-way cross individuals descending from four wild African strains and four farmed Asian strains.

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