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שלח באימייל הדפס
Name: Avner Cnaani, Ph.D. (Researcher)
Units: Animal SciencePoultry and Aquaculture
Research Interests / Job description  
Tel:  +972-3-9683566
Cell: 050-6220187
Email:    avnerc@volcani.agri.gov.il
Address:Institute of Animal Science
Agricultural Research Organization
P.O. Box 170, Bet Dagan 50250
Research Interests / Job description
Fish physiologist and geneticist

Lab's home page



Education and Additional Training

2006-2007 Postdoctoral training. Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, Virginia Tech. 

2003-2006 Postdoctoral training. Hubbard Center for Genome Studies, University of New Hampshire.

2004 Ph.D. (Animal Science). The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


1999 M.Sc. (Animal Science). The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

1996 B.Sc. (Animal Science). The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Research Interests

My broad research interests are physiology and genetics of fitness traits in cultured fish species. Our research focus mainly on understanding the biological basis of environmental stress response and adaptation. We are using comparative physiology, genetics, and genomics, approaches to study genes and pathways involved in osmotic and thermal stress.

Current Projects

  • Characterization and activity of intestinal transporters.
  • Tilapia's salinity tolerance.
  • Tilapia's cold tolerance.

Lab Members

Bright, curious and enthusiastic students are always welcome to join our research group!

Current members

Tali Nitzan, Lab manager.

Aurora Campo, Post-doctoral researcher.

Camille Bordes, Post-doctoral researcher.

Shorok Khaskia, M.Sc. student.


Pazit Con (Rozenberg), M.Sc., Cum Laude, 2015; Ph.D., 2023.

Fotini Kokou, Post-doctoral researcher. 2014-2019.

Ynon Deutsch, M.Sc., 2017.

Eyal Hallali, M.Sc., 2016.

Tapan Kumar Chourasia, Post-doctoral researcher. 2014-2016.

Dana Ronkin, M.Sc., Cum Laude, 2015. 

Enbal Ben-Tal Cohen, Post-doctoral researcher. 2012-2013. 

Shahar Malamud, M.Sc., 2013. 

Ariel Velan, M.Sc., 2011.


Articles in Reviewed Journals

56. Hamar J, Cnaani A, Kültz D, (2024). Transcriptional up-regulation of the myo-inositol biosynthesis pathway is enhanced by NFAT5 in hyperosmotically stressed tilapia cells. American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology, in press.

55. Ciezarek AG, Mehta TK, Man A, Ford AGP, Kavembe GD, Kasozi N, Ngatunga BP, Shechonge AH, Tamatamah R, Nyingi DW, Cnaani A, Ndiwa TC, Di Palma F, Turner GF, Genner MJ, Haerty W, (2024). Ancient and recent hybridization in the Oreochromis cichlid fishes. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 41:msae116.

54. Hamar J, Cnaani A, Kültz D, (2024). Effects of CRISPR/Cas9 targeting of the myo-inositol biosynthesis pathway on hyper-osmotic tolerance of tilapia cells. Genomics, 116:110833.

53. Con P, Hamar J, Biran J, Kültz D, Cnaani A, (2024). Cell-based homologous expression system for in-vitro characterization of environmental effects on transmembrane peptide transport in fish. Current Research in Physiology, 7:100118.

52. Kim C, Cnaani A, Kültz D, (2023). Removal of evolutionarily conserved functional MYC domains in a tilapia cell line using a vector-based CRISPR/Cas9 system. Scientific Reports, 13:12086.

51. Sorensen K, Craig SR, Cnaani A, McLean E, (2023). Hematological response of juvenile cobia to three anesthetics. Fishes, 8:31.

50. Etherington GJ, Nash W, Ciezarek A, Mehta TK, Barria A, Peñaloza C, Khan MGQ, Durant A, Forrester N, Fraser F, Irish N, Kaithakottil G, Lipscombe J, Trong T, Watkins C, Swarbreck D, Angiolini E, Cnaani A, Gharbi K, Houston RD, Benzie JAH, Haerty W, (2022). Chromosome-level genome sequence of the Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT, Oreochromis niloticus) highlights regions of introgression with O. mossambicus. BMC Genomics, 23:832.

49. Barki A, Cnaani A, Biran J, (2022). How does temperature affect aggression during and after dominance hierarchy formation in Nile tilapia? Applied Animal Behavior Science, 247:105563.

48. Campo A, Nitzan T, Slosman T, Doron-Faigenboim A, D’Cotta H, Baroiller J-F, Cnaani A, (2022). Different transcriptomic architecture of the gill epithelia in Nile and Mozambique tilapia after salinity challenge. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part D: Genomics & Proteomics, 41:100927.

47. Segev-Hadar A, Slosman T, Rozen A, Sherman A, Cnaani A, Biran J, (2021). Genome editing using CRISPR-Cas9 system to generate a solid-red germlines of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). The CRISPR Journal, 4:583-594.

46. Root L, Campo A, MacNiven L, Con P, Cnaani A, Kültz D, (2021). Nonlinear effects of environmental salinity on the gill transcriptome versus proteome of Oreochromis niloticus modulate epithelial cell turnover. Genomics, 113:3235-3249.

45. Root L, Campo A, MacNiven L, Con P, Cnaani A, Kültz D, (2021). A data-independent acquisition (DIA) assay library for quantitation of environmental effects on the kidney proteome of Oreochromis niloticusMolecular Ecology Resources, 21:2486-2503.

44. Con P, Nitzan T, Slosman T, Cnaani A, (2021). Water salinity and postprandial effects on transcription of peptide and amino acid transporters in the kidney of Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus). Aquaculture, 536:736384.

43. Kokou F, Sasson G, Mizrahi I, Cnaani A, (2020). Antibiotic effect and microbiome persistence vary along the European seabass gut. Scientific Reports, 10:10003.

42. Kokou F, Sasson G, Friedman J, Eyal S, Ovadia O, Harpaz S, Cnaani A, Mizrahi I, (2019). Core gut microbial communities are maintained by beneficial interactions and strain variability in fish. Nature Microbiology, 4:2456-2465.

41. Con P, Nitzan T, Slosman T, Harpaz S, Cnaani A, (2019). Peptide transporters in the primary gastrointestinal tract of pre-feeding Mozambique tilapia larva. Frontiers in Physiology, 10:808. 

40. Nitzan T, Kokou F, Doron-Faigenboim A, Slosman T, Biran J, Mizrahi I, Zak T, Benet A, Cnaani A, (2019). Transcriptome analysis reveals common and differential response to low temperature exposure between tolerant and sensitive blue tilapia (Oreochromis aureus). Frontiers in Genetics, 10:100.

39. Kokou F, Con P, Barki A, Slosman T, Nitzan T, Mizrahi I, Cnaani A, (2019). Short- and long-term low-salinity acclimation effects on the branchial and intestinal gene expression in the European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 231:11-18.

38. Kokou F, Sasson G, Nitzan T, Doron-Faigenboim A, Harpaz S, Cnaani A, Mizrahi I, (2018). Host genetic selection for cold tolerance shapes microbiome composition and modulates its response to temperature. eLife, 7:e36398.

37. Hallali E, Kokou F, Chourasia TK, Nitzan T, Con P, Harpaz S, Mizrahi I, Cnaani A, (2018). Dietary salt levels affect digestibility, intestinal gene expression, and the microbiome, in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). PLoS One, 13:e0202351.

36. Chourasia TK, D’Cotta H, Baroiller J-F, Slosman T, Cnaani A, (2018). Effects of the acclimation to high salinity on intestinal ion and peptide transporters in two tilapia species differing in their salinity tolerance. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 218:16-23.

35. Con P, Nitzan T, Cnaani A, (2017). Salinity dependent shift in the localization of three peptide transporters along the intestine of the Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus). Frontiers in Physiology, 8:8. 

34. Nitzan T, Rozenberg P, Cnaani A, (2017). Differential expression of amino-acid transporters along the intestine of Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) and the effect of water salinity and time after feedingAquaculture, 472:71-75.

33. Nitzan T, Slosman T, Gutkovich D, Weller JI, Hulata G, Zak T, Benet A, Cnaani A, (2016). Maternal effects in the inheritance of cold tolerance in blue tilapia (Oreochromis aureus). Environmental Biology of Fishes, 99:975-981.

32. Ronkin D, Seroussi E, Nitzan T, Doron-Faigenboim A, Cnaani A, (2015). Intestinal transcriptome analysis revealed differential salinity adaptation between two tilapiine species. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part D: Genomics & Proteomics, 13:35-43.

31. Velan A, Hulata G, Ron M, Slosman T, Shirak A, Cnaani A, (2015). Association between polymorphism in the Prolactin I promoter and growth of tilapia in saline-water. Aquaculture Reports, 1:5-9.

30. Seale AP, Stagg JJ, Yamaguchi Y, Breves JP, Soma S, Watanabe S, Kaneko T, Cnaani A, Harpaz S, Lerner DT, Grau EG, (2014). Effects of salinity and prolactin on gene transcript levels of ion transporters, ion pumps and prolactin receptors in Mozambique tilapia intestine. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 206:146-154.

29. Cnaani AHallerman EM, McLean E, (2014). Physiological responses of yellow perch to hypoxia, air exposure and bleeding. North American Journal of Aquaculture, 76:423-429.  

28. Cnaani A, (2013). The tilapias' chromosomes influencing sex determination. Cytogenetic and Genome Research, 141:195-205. 

27. Cnaani A, McLean E, Hallerman EM, (2013). Effects of growth hormone transgene expression and triploidy on acute stress indicators in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.). Aquaculture, 412:107-116. 

26. Cnaani AStavi A, Smirnov R, Harpaz S, (2012). Rearing white grouper (Epinephelus aeneus) in low salinity water: effects of dietary salt supplementation. The Israeli Journal of Aquaculture - Bamidgeh, 64.2012.760. 

25. Velan A, Hulata G, Ron M, Cnaani A, (2011). Comparative time-course study on pituitary and branchial response to salinity challenge in Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) and Nile tilapia (O. niloticus). Fish Physiology and Biochemistry, 37:863-873. 

24. Eshel O, Shirak A, Weller JI, Slossman T, Hulata G, Cnaani A, Ron M, (2011). Fine mapping of a locus on linkage group 23 for sex determination in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). Animal Genetics, 42:222-224.

23. Cnaani A, Hulata G, (2011). Improving salinity tolerance in tilapias: Past experience and future prospects. The Israeli Journal of Aquaculture - Bamidgeh, 63.2011.533.

22. Cnaani A, Barki A, Slosman T, Scharcanski A, Milstein A, Harpaz S, (2010). Dietary salt supplement increases growth rate in freshwater cultured tilapia hybrids. Aquaculture Research, 41:1545-1548.

21. Cnaani A, Levavi-Sivan B, (2009). Sexual development in fish, practical applications for aquaculture. Sexual Development, 3:165-176. 

20. Cnaani A, McLean E, (2009). Time-course response of cobia (Rachycentron canadum) to acute stress. Aquaculture, 289:140-142.

19. Cnaani A, Kocher TD, (2008). Sex-linked markers and microsatellite locus duplication in the cichlid species Oreochromis tanganicae. Biology Letters, 4:700-703.

18. Cnaani A, Lee B-Y, Zilberman N, Ozouf-Costaz C, Hulata G, Ron M, D'Hont A, Baroiller J-F, D'Cotta H, Penman DJ, Tomasino E, Coutanceau J-P, Pepey E, Shirak A, Kocher TD, (2008). Genetics of sex determination in tilapiine species. Sexual Development, 2:43-54.

17. Cnaani A, Lee B-Y, Ozouf-Costaz C, Bonillo C, Baroiller J-F, D'Cotta H, Kocher TD, (2007). Mapping of Sox2 and Sox14 in tilapia (Oreochromis spp.). Sexual Development, 1:207-210.

16. Shirak A, Seroussi E, Cnaani A, Howe AE, Domokhovsky R, Zilberman N, Kocher TD, Hulata G, Ron M, (2006). Amh and Dmrta2 genes map to tilapia (Oreochromis spp.) linkage group 23 within QTL regions for sex determination. Genetics, 174:1573-1581.

15. Cnaani A, (2006). Genetic perspective on stress and disease resistance in aquaculture. The Israeli Journal of Aquaculture - Bamidgeh, 58:375-383.

14. Cnaani A, Zilberman N, Tinman S, Hulata G, Ron M, (2004). Genome-scan analysis for quantitative trait loci in an F2 tilapia hybrid. Molecular Genetics and Genomics, 272:162-172.

13. Cnaani A, Tinman S, Avidar Y, Ron M, Hulata G, (2004). Comparative study of biochemical parameters in response to stress in Oreochromis aureus, O. mossambicus and two strains of O. niloticus. Aquaculture Research, 35:1434-1440.

12. Moen T, Agresti JJ, Cnaani A, Moses H, Famula TR, Hulata G, Gall GAE, May B, (2004). A genome scan of a four-way tilapia cross supports the existence of a quantitative trait locus for cold tolerance on linkage group 23. Aquaculture Research, 35:893-904.

11. Hulata G, Cnaani A, Slossman T, Gall GAE, (2004). Fertility problems in a second generation of a four-species tilapia cross. The Israeli Journal of Aquaculture - Bamidgeh, 56:159-165.

10. Cnaani A, Hallerman EM, Ron M, Weller JI, Indelman M, Kashi Y, Gall GAE, Hulata G, (2003). Detection of a chromosomal region with two quantitative trait loci, affecting cold tolerance and fish size, in an F2 tilapia hybrid. Aquaculture, 223:117-128.

9. Cnaani A, Lee B-Y, Ron M, Hulata G, Kocher TD, Seroussi E, (2003). Linkage mapping of major histocompatibilty complex class I loci in tilapia (Oreochromis spp.). Animal Genetics, 34:390-391.

8. Cnaani A, Ron M, Hulata G, Seroussi E, (2002). Fishing in silico: searching for tilapia genes using sequences of microsatellites DNA markers. Animal Genetics, 33:474-476.

7. Cnaani A, Ron M, Lee B-Y, Hulata G, Kocher TD, Seroussi E, (2002). Mapping the transferrin gene in tilapia. Animal Genetics, 33:78-80.

6. Palti Y, Shirak A, Cnaani A, Hulata G, Avtalion RR, Ron M, (2002). Detection of genes with deleterious alleles in an inbred line of tilapia (Oreochromis aureus). Aquaculture, 206:151-164.

5. Shirak A, Palti Y, Cnaani A, Korol A, Hulata G, Ron M, Avtalion RR, (2002). Association between loci with deleterious alleles and distorted sex ratios in an inbred line of tilapia (Oreochromis aureus). Journal of Heredity, 93:270-276.

4. Palti Y, Shirak A, Cnaani A, Feldmesser E, Avtalion RR, Hulata G, Ron M, (2001). A microsatellite locus has more than one copy in the genome of two tilapia species (Oreochromis aureus and O. niloticus). Animal Genetics, 32:40-41.

3. Cnaani A, Gall GAE, Hulata G, (2000). Cold tolerance in tilapia species and hybrids. Aquaculture International, 8:289-298.

2. Agresti JJ, Seki S, Cnaani A, Poompuang S, Hallerman EM, Umiel N, Hulata G, Gall GAE, May BP, (2000). Breeding new strains of tilapia: development of an artificial center of origin and linkage map based on AFLP and microsatellite loci. Aquaculture, 185:43-56.

1. Palti Y, Tinman S, Cnaani A, Avidar Y, Ron M, Hulata G, (1999). Comparative study of biochemical and non-specific immunological parameters in two tilapia species (Oreochromis aureus and O. mossambicus). The Israeli Journal of Aquaculture - Bamidgeh, 51:148-156.

Books and Book Chapters

3. Cnaani A, ed. (2009). Sex Determination and Differentiation in Fish. 122 pages, Karger.

2. Cnaani A, Hulata G, (2008). Tilapias. Chapter 4, pages 101-116, in: Genome Mapping and Genomics in Fishes and Aquatic Animals. (TD Kocher and CR Kole, eds.). 180 pages, Springer-Verlag.

1. Korol A, Shirak A, Cnaani A, Hallerman EM, (2007). Detection and analysis of Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs) for economic traits in aquatic species. Chapter 11, pages 169-197, in: Aquaculture Genome Technologies. (Z Liu, ed.). 584 pages, Blackwell Publishing.

Updated on: 07/07/24 11:17
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