DNA barcoding analysis of fish bones from a shipwreck found at Dor, Israel

Andrey Shirak, Ofra Barkai, Omri Lernau, Yaacov Kahanov, Eyal Seroussi, Micha Ron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Tantura F shipwreck, found in Dor lagoon, was dated to the Early Islamic period of Israel (8th 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-based taxonomy of the ancient fish. A single transition m. 5573 G>A of Oreochromis aureus and Sarotherodon galilaeus further identified the ancient fish as tilapia. This nucleotide transition suggests that the ancient fish belonged to an extinct species or sub-species closely related to contemporary O. aureus or S. galilaeus. Within the archeological and historical context, the DNA-based identification of the ancient fish as tilapia may aid in understanding the fish industry and trade in the region during the Islamic period.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIsraeli Journal of Aquaculture - Bamidgeh
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Mini-barcoding
  • Mitochondrial DNA
  • Oreochromis aureus
  • Sarotherodon galilaeus
  • Tantura F shipwreck

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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