The Brazilian aquaculture has experienced significant growth in recent years. However, the national potential of production will certainly be better explored with the use of products resulting from breeding programs. The pacu, Piaractus mesopotamicus (Characiformes, Serrasalmidae), is a fish of occurrence in the Paraná-Paraguay River Basin and it is one of the main native species used for production in aquaculture. The use of molecular markers in fish farming has been shown to be essential, especially for genetic monitoring of populations and pre-breeding programs. The mitochondrial molecular markers (mtDNA) have a higher rate of mutations and exclusively maternal inheritance, being useful for monitoring the genetic variability of a population and generate information about the founder stock. The objective of this study is to analyze the genetic variability of cultivated stock of Piaractus mesopotamicus using mitochondrial molecular markers (D-loop region), in order to know the genetic profile of farmed animals. Then, we intended to generate subsidies to drive crossings in order to increase the population variability and improvements in genetic management in production systems. The expected result is the generation of haplotypes that can be used in the traceability of individuals resulting from breeding programs. In addition, the results of the present project may detect potential ex-situ genetic banks, formulating biological conservation strategies.
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