Based on mtDNAsequence analysis, there seem to be several clades in this genus, and a few species of the much larger genus Oreochromis (such as Oreochromis urolepis and the Blue tilapiaO. aureus) seem closer to Sarotherodon according to the mtDNA data (see discussion at Wami tilapia). Research is hampered by the fact that hybridization runs rampant in these fishes, which confounds mtDNA data, and that the fast speed of evolution makes choice of appropriate nuclear DNA sequences difficult.
^Nagl, Sandra; Tichy, Herbert; Mayer, Werner E.; Samonte, Irene E.; McAndrew, Brendan J. & Klein, Jan (2001): Classification and Phylogenetic Relationships of African Tilapiine Fishes Inferred from Mitochondrial DNA Sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 20(3): 361–374. doi:10.1006/mpev.2001.0979
Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats Specimen Records:105 Specimens with Sequences:165 Specimens with Barcodes:103 Species:5 Species With Barcodes:5 Public Records:35 Public Species:3 Public BINs:3