The Influence of the Albino Gene on Intraspecific Hybridization Between Normal and Albino African Catfish. 

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The Influence of the Albino Gene on Intraspecific Hybridization Between Normal and Albino African Catfish. 

Abstract: This study investigated the impact of the albino gene on intraspecific hybridization between African Catfish and Albino Clarias gariepinus. Various aspects such as latency period, fecundity, fertility, hatchability, survival, growth performance, morphometric and meristic characteristics, as well as genetic characterization of parents and offspring of the F1 generation, were assessed. The experiment involved four mating combinations using eight matured normal and albino Clarias gariepinus with an average body weight of 1.64kg. The broodstock was acquired from Abdulfana fish farm Yola and acclimatized for ten days before the commencement of the study at the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Adamawa State University Mubi.

Artificial breeding using Ovaprim hormone was carried out, and the fertilized eggs were used for the experiments. Fertility and hatchability percentages of the eggs were determined using a Randomized Complete Design (RCD). The F1 and F2 generations were studied for 18 months, recording weight, length, and survival/mortality rate in each treatment and replication on a weekly basis. Water quality parameters were monitored regularly throughout the study.

Genetic characterization involved DNA extraction, electrophoresis, selection of microsatellite markers, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplifications, and electrophoresis for PCR. These analyses were conducted on both the parent stock and the offspring of the F1 generation.

The results indicated that female albino Clarias gariepinus exhibited the highest latency period of 13.50±0.22 hours at 27.50±0.20oC and lower fecundity of 4032±0.12, while normal Clarias gariepinus had a shorter latency period of 12.00±0.21 hours and higher fecundity of 7020±0.23 at the same temperature. Different mating combinations produced varying levels of fertility and hatchability, with NN♂ x NN♀ displaying the highest values and AA♂ x NN♀ showing the lowest.

The study also revealed that crossed between NN♂ x AA♀ resulted in the highest final mean weight gain, followed by NN♂ x NN♀, while NN♀ x AA♂ and AA♂ x AA♀ had lower values. Survival rates varied among the mating combinations, with the highest observed in AA♂ x AA♀ and the lowest in NN♂ x AA♀. Morphometric analysis indicated that the F1 generation exhibited higher values for head width, eye diameter, and occipital fontanelle compared to the parent stock.

Water quality parameters remained within the acceptable range for tropical catfish during the study. Genetic analysis revealed amplification of two microsatellite loci, Cg01, and Cg02, with varying sizes across populations. Null allele frequencies were low for the parent stock and F1 generation. Heterozygosity was observed for Cg01, while Cg02 displayed homozygosity in both the parent and F1 generation of normal and albino Clarias gariepinus.

The findings suggest that normal male and female Albino Clarias gariepinus can be utilized by fish farmers to produce hybrid offspring with high survival rates and faster growth. Further investigations are recommended to determine the underlying causes of specific morphometric characteristics observed in the F1 generation, such as skin color, head width, eye diameter, and occipital fontanelle.

The Influence of the Albino Gene on Intraspecific Hybridization Between Normal and Albino African Catfish. 

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