Development of genetic tools for measuring variability in Pacú (Piaractus mesopotamicus), Surubí (Pseudoplatystoma corruscans), silverside (Odontesthes bonariensis) and Boga (Leporinus obtusidens)

Summary of the offered technology

A group of researchers working in the Aquatic Biotechnology Platform at IBR has identified molecular markers and standardized microsatellites for measuring genetic variability in populations of pacu, boga, surubí and silverside. For each of the selected markers, working conditions were standardized and the degree of polymorphism was determined for each species.

Brief description of the technology offered

Molecular markers are biomolecules that can be related to a specific feature of the living and can be used to assess the degree of diversity and genetic structure in natural populations and breeding.

According to the biomolecule that is the subject of analysis, the markers are classified as DNA or protein markers. The DNA markers could be nuclear or mitochondrial DNA markers.

The most widely used nuclear DNA markers are the microsatellites, which are short sequences of 2-5 nucleotides long distributed throughout the genome. In addition, these sequences are repeated in tandem in a variable number, which determines its hypervariable character and usefulness in genetic studies.

Another type of molecular marker is the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) or sequences that are polymorphic in more than one nucleotide. In fish, multiple micro satellites and SNPs affecting traits of economic interest (growth, resistance to diseases and low temperatures, etc), has already been detected and mapped.

Application domain

  • Fish farming industry.
  • Managing of natural resources in a sustainable way.
  • Preservation of genetic resources.
  • Tourism generated through sport fishing.


  • Evaluation and understanding of the genetic diversity of captive populations is used for cultivation, in order to avoid inbreeding negative effects (incrementing of mortality rate, susceptibility to infections and predisposition to develop malformations) and natural populations to assess environmental impact.
  • Control the degree of kinship between reproducers .
  • Assignment of paternity.
  • Species identification.
  • Hybrids identification.
  • Identification and differentiation of stocks.
  • Selection programs using marker assisted breeding.
  • To have basic tools to advise government agencies that allow the assessment of the genetic variability of wild populations and estimate the effects of fish farming practices.
  • Evaluate the impact that leaks of growing populations have on natural populations.

State of development

  • Tested in the laboratory.
  • Available for performing proof of concept.

State of intellectual property

Secret know-how

Details of potential operating or partnership agreements

  • Technical and scientific cooperation for validation of paternity and kinship assays and multiplex assay.
  • Technical and scientific cooperation to develop fast and reliable methods to evaluate and optimize protocols for cryopreservation of fish sperm and search for new markers associated with traits of commercial importance.
  • Joint Venture for the development of commercial kit for studies of genetic identification for different species.
  • Technical assistance to producers in the management and organization of stocks and genetic selection of reproducers.
  • Technical advice to government institutions responsible for setting environmental and conservation policies and promotion of production.
  • Technical advice for the development of new breeding programs.


Dr. Silvia Arranz