M Ron's research while affiliated with Agricultural Research Organization ARO and other places

Publications (139)

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All‐female culture of sturgeon is essential for efficient caviar production. However, Russian sturgeon (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii) does not exhibit external sexual dimorphism, and therefore, commercial farms apply gonadal endoscopy or ultrasound at the earliest age of 4–5 years to separate the sexes, with ~90% accuracy. Recently, a dominant genomic...
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Oreochromis fishes exhibit variability of sex-determination (SD) genes whose characterization contributes to understanding of the sex differentiation network, and to effective tilapia farming, which requires all-male culture. However, O. niloticus (On) amh is the only master-key regulator (MKR) of SD that has been mapped (XY/XX SD-system on LG23)....
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Crossing Oreochromis niloticus (On) females with Oreochromis aureus (Oa) males results in all‐male progeny that are essential for effective tilapia farming. However, a reproductive barrier between these species limits mating and mass‐fry production. One approach to overcoming this barrier is to select parental stocks of mixed genetic backgrounds, w...
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Various master key regulators (MKRs) that control a binary switch of sex determination (SD) have been found in fish; these provide an excellent model for the study of vertebrate genetic SD. The SD region in flathead grey mullet has been previously mapped to a 1 Mbp region harboring 27 genes, of which one is follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (fs...
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Various master key regulators (MKRs) that control a binary switch of sex determination (SD) have been found in fish; these provide an excellent model for the study of vertebrate genetic SD. The SD region in flathead grey mullet has been previously mapped to a 1 Mbp region harboring 27 genes, of which one is Follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (fs...
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Flathead gray mullet (Mugil cephalus) is a cosmopolitan mugilid species popular in fishery and aquaculture with an economic preference for all-female population. However, it displays neither sexual dimorphisms nor heteromorphic sex chromosomes. We have previously presented a microsatellite-based linkage map for this species locating a single sex de...
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Sex determination (SD) mechanisms are ancient and conserved, yet much diversity is exhibited in primary sex-determining signals that trigger male or female development. In O. niloticus, SD is associated with a male-specific locus on linkage group (LG) 23 which harbors the Y-linked Anti-Müllerian hormone (amh) gene, and a truncated duplication, deno...
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Poecilia reticulata is one of the most popular ornamental fish species with a higher demand for males due to their large colorful fins. The objectives of this study were mapping of the sex-determining (SD) region on linkage group 12 of guppy, and identification of a sex specific marker. We generated eight polymorphic microsatellite markers distribu...
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The Thai-Chitralada strain originates from Egypt and was transferred to Japan. From there a stock of 50 fish were introduced to the Royal Chitralada Palace in Thailand. The commercially cultured strain of Nile tilapia O. niloticus in Thailand, Thai-Chitralada, possesses desirable traits for aquaculture, such as high growth rate integrated with reas...
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Effective farming of tilapia requires all-male culture, characterized by uniformity and high growth rate. Males of O. aureus (Oa) and females of O. niloticus (On) produce all-male offspring, but there is a behavioral reproductive barrier between the two species that prevents mass production. In crosses between Oa and On broodstocks, few hybrid fema...
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Experimental designs that exploit family information can provide substantial predictive power in quantitative trait nucleotide discovery projects. Concordance between quantitative trait locus genotype as determined by the a posteriori granddaughter design and marker genotype was determined for 30 trait-by-chromosomal segment effects segregating in...
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The Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee) grey mullet (Mugil cephalus) population originates from translocated wild-caught, or hatchery-reared, fish. The aim of the study was to identify the taxonomic status and stock origin of a sample of 32 mullet individuals caught in the Sea of Galilee, based on the mitochondrial Cytochrome Oxidase I (COI) sequence an...
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Genomic evaluation has been successfully implemented in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, France, the Netherlands, Germany, and the Scandinavian countries. Adoption of this technology in the major dairy producing countries has led to significant changes in the worldwide dairy industry. Gradual elimination of...
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Elucidation of the sex-determination mechanism in flathead grey mullet (Mugil cephalus) is required to exploit its economic potential by production of genetically determined monosex populations and application of hormonal treatment to parents rather than to the marketed progeny. Our objective was to construct a first-generation linkage map of the M...
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Tilapias are a group of species with a variable tolerance to high salinity, which are cultured worldwide in fresh, brackish and seawater. Prolactin I (PRL I) is known as a key hormone in osmoregulatory physiological pathways. A previous study, conducted in a single family, reported on association between polymorphism in a repetitive element within...
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Cichlid fishes are famous for large, diverse and replicated adaptive radiations in the Great Lakes of East Africa. To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying cichlid phenotypic diversity,we sequenced the genomes and transcriptomes of five lineages of African cichlids: theNile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), an ancestral lineage with low div...
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Background The probable influence of genes and the environment on sex determination in Nile tilapia suggests that it should be regarded as a complex trait. Detection of sex determination genes in tilapia has both scientific and commercial importance. The main objective was to detect genes and microRNAs that were differentially expressed by gender i...
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Cichlid fishes are famous for large, diverse and replicated adaptive radiations in the Great Lakes of East Africa. To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying cichlid phenotypic diversity, we sequenced the genomes and transcriptomes of five lineages of African cichlids: the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), an ancestral lineage with low d...
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The white grouper (Epinephelus aeneus) is a promising candidate for domestication and aquaculture due to its fast growth, excellent taste and high market price. A linkage map is an essential framework for mapping QTL for economic traits, and study of genome evolution. DNA of a single individual was deep-sequenced and microsatellite markers were ide...
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Several studies have shown that computation of genomic estimated breeding values (GEBV) with accuracies significantly greater than parent average (PA) estimated breeding values (EBVs) requires genotyping of at least several thousand progeny-tested bulls. For all published analyses, GEBV computed from the selected samples of markers have lower or eq...
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Methods for genomic prediction were evaluated for an Israeli Holstein dairy population of 713,686 cows and 1,305 progeny-tested bulls with genotypes. Inclusion of genotypes of 343 elite cows in an evaluation method that considers pedigree, phenotypes, and genotypes simultaneously was also evaluated. Two data sets were available: a complete data set...
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Based on pairwise identity-by-state (IBS) distances and whole-genome SNP data, kinship was investigated in the Israeli Holstein population. A total of 789 bulls, including most of the artificial insemination sires in service since 1987, were genotyped by the BovineSNP50 BeadChip. This sample included up to five generations. For each bull-by-bull co...
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Offspring of a highly inbred gynogenetic line of Oreochromis aureus displayed 12-fold increase in twinning rate compared to the outbred population. Asymmetric conjoined twins, which consist of a normal embryo attached to a malformed-atrophic twin, were frequently encountered in both gynogenetic (90·7%) and outbred (38·2%) embryos. The monozygotic o...
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The Tantura F shipwreck, found in Dor lagoon, was dated to the Early Islamic period of Israel (8 th century). Ovoid amphorae found in the shipwreck contained fish bones that were morphologically assigned to the genus Tilapia. A mini-barcode sequence of a 140-bp fragment of the cytochrome oxidase subunit I mitochondrial gene was analyzed for DNA-bas...
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Strong selection in the Israeli Holstein dairy cattle population over the last three decades should have left clear signatures of selection. Two experimental approaches were applied to detect evidence of contemporary selection based on the 54K BeadChip genotypes of ~1000 Israeli Holstein bulls: (i) the long-range haplotype test, which searches for...
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In tilapia species, plasma lipoproteins with high electrophoretic mobility function in intra- and intergender communication. Blood samples taken at onset and peak of daily sexual activity from dominant and subordinate Oreochromis niloticus males and females were fractionated by native gel electrophoresis and the fast-migrating proteins were subject...
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An efficient algorithm for genomic selection of moderately sized populations based on single nucleotide polymorphism chip technology is described. A total of 995 Israeli Holstein bulls with genetic evaluations based on daughter records were genotyped for either the BovineSNP50 BeadChip or the BovineSNP50 v2 BeadChip. Milk, fat, protein, somatic cel...
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Evidence supports that sex determination (SD) in tilapia is controlled by major genetic factors that may interact with minor genetic as well as environmental factors, thus implying that SD should be analyzed as a quantitative trait. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) for SD in Oreochromis niloticus were previously detected on linkage groups (LG) 1 and 2...
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A quantitative trait locus (QTL) affecting female fertility, scored as the inverse of the number of inseminations to conception, on Bos taurus chromosome 7 was detected by a daughter design analysis of the Israeli Holstein population (P < 0.0003). Sires of five of the 10 families analyzed were heterozygous for the QTL. The 95% confidence interval o...
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A single nucleotide polymorphism in the intergenic region upstream of the ZNF496 gene on Bos taurus chromosome 7 displayed significant population-wide linkage disequilibrium with milk protein percentage in the Israeli Holstein population. The frequency of the allele associated with increased protein concentration was 10%. This single nucleotide pol...
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The physiological response of Mozambique and Nile tilapia transferred from fresh to brackish (15 ppt) water was compared during a one-week time course. Response in the pituitary was measured by the gene expression pattern of prolactin (PRL I), growth hormone (GH), and calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR), while the response in the gills was measured by...
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Genome-wide association studies based on tens of thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms have been completed for several dairy cattle populations. Methods have been proposed to directly incorporate genome scan data into breeding programs, chiefly by selection of young sires based on their genotypes for the genetic markers and pedigree without...
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Genetic markers in tilapia species associated with loci affecting sex determination (SD), sex-specific mortality or both were mapped to linkage groups (LG) 1, 2, 3, 6 and 23. The objective of this study was to use these markers to fine-map the locus with the greatest effect on SD in Oreochromis niloticus. Our parental stock, full-sibs of Nile tilap...
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Summary The phenomenon of chimaerism occurs in the majority of cattle twin pregnancies. The objectives of this study were to develop a powerful diagnostic test for chimaerism in bovine male and female co-twins using X and Y chromosome-linked markers and to determine the extent of chimaerism in twins, triplets and quadruplets. We developed a multipl...
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Incorrect paternity assignment in cattle can have a major effect on rates of genetic gain. Of the 576 Israeli Holstein bulls genotyped by the BovineSNP50 BeadChip, there were 204 bulls for which the father was also genotyped. The results of 38 828 valid single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were used to validate paternity, determine the genotyping...
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Published by the The Society of Israeli Aquaculture and Marine Biotechnology (SIAMB) in partnership with the University of Hawaii at Manoa Library and the AquacultureHub A non-profit organization 501c3
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The large-scale bacterial artificial chromosome-end sequencing project of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) has generated extensive sequence data that allowed the examination of the repeat content in this fish genome and building of a repeat library specific for this species. This library was established based on Tilapiini repeat sequences from...
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The objectives of this study were barcoding and taxonomic analysis of the five tilapiine species (Oreochromis aureus, O. niloticus, O. mossam-bicus, Sarotherodon galilaeus, and Tilapia zillii), two tilapia hybrid strains (Florida red tilapia and Philippine red tilapia), and two endemic wild cichlids (Tristramella simonis and Astatotilapia flaviijos...
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Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are amenable to automation and therefore have become the marker of choice for DNA profiling. SNaPshot, a primer extension-based method, was used to multiplex 25 SNPs that have been previously validated as useful for identity control. Detection of extended products was based on four different fluorochromes and...
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Lipocalins are involved in the binding of small molecules like sex steroids. We show here that the previously reported tilapia male-specific protein (MSP) is a lipocalin encoded by a variety of paralogous and homologous genes in different tilapia species. Exon-intron boundaries of MSP genes were typical of the six-exon genomic structure of lipocali...
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Twinning rate was analyzed in the Israeli Holstein dairy cattle population by the multiple-trait animal model, and a daughter design genome scan for quantitative trait loci was performed. Each parity was considered a separate trait. Heritabilities of twinning rate were very low, but increased by parity from 0.01 in first parity to 0.03 in fifth par...
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A total of 5,459 Israeli Holstein cows, daughters of 11 sires, were genotyped for 29 microsatellites spanning chromosome 7 and analyzed by the daughter design for 9 economic traits: milk, fat, and protein yield, fat and protein percentage, somatic cell score, female fertility, herd life, and milk persistency. Quantitative trait loci at chromosome-w...
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We identified DNA markers linked to sex determining genes in six closely related species of tilapiine fishes. The mode of sex determination differed among species. In Oreochromis karongae and Tilapia mariae the sex-determining locus is on linkage group (LG) 3 and the female is heterogametic (WZ-ZZ system). In O. niloticus and T. zillii the sex-dete...
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Traceability is the ability to follow the history of food throughout the production, processing and distribution chain by means of recorded identification. The crisis of the "Mad Cow Disease" led countries that produce beef to implement different levels of traceability, which have been typically achieved through the use of unique numerical code lab...
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Many quantitative trait loci (QTL) affecting economic traits in livestock have now been identified. However, the confidence interval (CI) of individual QTL as determined by linkage analysis often spans tens of map units, containing hundreds of genes. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) mapping can reduce the CI to individual map units, but this reduced int...
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Many studies have found segregating quantitative trait loci (QTL) for milk production traits in different dairy cattle populations. However, even for relatively large effects with a saturated marker map the confidence interval for QTL location by linkage analysis spans tens of map units, or hundreds of genes. Combining mapping and arraying has been...
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to 100% among groups reared in the aquariums without MT feeding (WE), but significant differences between treatments were not observed. Significant differences were observed (P b 0.05) in the frequency of inverted males within (MT) and (WE) groups and in comparison with their control. Also insignificant differences (P N 0.05) were observed in the f...
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A single nucleotide change (A/C) in exon 14 is capable of encoding a substitution of tyrosine-581 to serine (Y581S) in the ABCG2 (ATP binding cassette, subfamily G, member 2) gene and affects milk production traits. The ABCG2(A) allele decreases milk yield and increases protein and fat concentration. The allele frequencies were determined in 32 Bos...
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Recent studies have revealed that the major genes of the mammalian sex determination pathway are also involved in sex determination of fish. Several studies have reported QTL in various species and strains of tilapia, regions contributing to sex determination have been identified on linkage groups 1, 3, and 23. Genes contributing to sex-specific mo...
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Recent results show a striking similarity in the dynamics of expression of gonad differentiation regulators in zebrafish and mammals. Candidates for the role of master key regulators (MKRs) in tilapia were selected, based on three concepts established in the literature for non-mammal species. These three concepts are: (a) MKRs are DM-proteins or th...
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Nearly all studies that consider the power of exclusion for individual identification using genetic markers ignore the possibility of erroneous genotypes, although individual genotype error rates are approximately 1% for microsatellites. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have lower error rates, but because of their lower information content, m...
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Low-molecular-weight, calcium-dependent phospholipase A2 genes (PLA2s) that belong to the secreted type of PLA2s are clustered within a syntenic group on human 1p35-p36 and mouse 4qD3. We reassembled trace files available from the Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) Project, obtaining an 86-kb contig with three tandem PLA2G2D duplications in the Hereford...
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We developed a high throughput DNA extraction protocol from tilapia fin tissue that enables the use of 96-well plates using a fluid micro-dispenser robot, thus effectively decreasing the time, cost and handling error of the DNA preparation stage. The method is based on the DNA salting out procedure and all fluid transfers are designed for use with...
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We present a simple algorithm for reconstruction of haplotypes from a sample of multilocus genotypes. The algorithm is aimed specifically for analysis of very large pedigrees for small chromosomal segments, where recombination frequency within the chromosomal segment can be assumed to be zero. The algorithm was tested both on simulated pedigrees of...
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Carboxyfluorescein diacetate (cFDA)-stained autologous and syngeneic tilapia (Oreochromis aureus) erythrocytes are recognized by effector peripheral blood leukocytes and lysed after a short culture period of 4 h. The hemolysis level was evaluated by measuring the fluorescence of the released cFDA. The degree of lysis of stained target erythrocytes...