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Aquaculture Nutrition provides a global perspective on the nutrition of all cultivated aquatic animals. Topics range from extensive aquaculture to laboratory studies of nutritional biochemistry and physiology.
Chief Editor, Erik-Jan Lock, is Research Director for Nutrition and Feed Technology at Nofima and Professor at the University of Bergen. He previously worked at the Institute of Marine Research and has experience across several fields such as mineral nutrition and new food resources.
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Growth, Biochemical Characteristics, Flesh Quality, and Gut Microbiota of the Pacific White Shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) Fed a Defatted Superworm (Zophobas atratus) Larvae Meal
This study evaluated the effects of defatted superworm (Zophobas atratus) larvae meal (DBWLM) as an alternative protein ingredient for juvenile Pacific white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei). Six isonitrogenous and isolipidic experimental diets were characterized by replacing 0%, 15%, 30%, 45%, 60%, and 75% fish meal (DBWLM0, DBWLM15, DBWLM30, DBWLM45, DBWLM60, and DBWLM75, respectively) with DBWLM on a w/w basis and feeding them to juvenile shrimp (0.34 ± 0.04 g) for 56 days. The results showed that the replacement of up to 75% fish meal by DBWLM had no negative effect on the growth performance of P. vannamei. The survival of shrimp in the DBWLM30 group was the highest, and the weight gain, specific growth rate, feed conversion ratio, condition factor, and apparent digestibility coefficients of dry matter in the DBWLM15 group were the highest. The substitution of DBWLM for fish meal significantly increased the elasticity of flesh, improved the total content of umami amino acids in flesh (aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, and alanine), promoted lipid metabolism in shrimp, and reduced serum lipid levels. With the increase in DBWLM level, serum acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase activity, and intestinal inflammatory gene expression (IGF-1 and IL-6) were inhibited, malondialdehyde content decreased, and total antioxidant capacity level and superoxide dismutase activity increased significantly. Histological sections of the hepatopancreas showed that when 60% or more fish meal was replaced, the hepatopancreas atrophied and had irregular lumen distortion, but the cell membrane was not damaged. Microbiome analysis showed that the abundance of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes increased and the abundance of Proteobacteria decreased in the DBWLM replacement group, and it was rich in “metabolism”-related functional pathways. It is worth mentioning that the expression of amino-acid-related enzymes was upregulated in the DBWLM15 and DBWLM30 groups, and the DBWLM75 group inhibited the biosynthesis of steroids and hormones. To conclude, the replacement of 15%–45% fish meal with DBWLM can result in better growth and immune status, improved meat elasticity, and reduced inflammation in P. vannamei. However, it is recommended that the replacement level should not exceed 60%, otherwise it will cause atrophy of hepatopancreas cells.
The Effects of Laurencia caspica Algae Extract on Hemato-Immunological Parameters, Antioxidant Defense, and Resistance against Streptococcus agalactiae in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)
Natural immune stimulants are among the most effective chemicals for boosting immunity and fish welfare. This study aims to investigate the effects of red macroalgae extract (Laurencia caspica) on hematological, immunological, antioxidant, biochemical, and disease resistance against S. agalactiae in Nile tilapia for 50 days. For this purpose, fishes were assigned to four dietary treatments group in which the base meal was supplemented with 0.5%, 1%, and 2% of L. caspica extract. On days 25 and 50 of the experiment, samples were taken to investigate the hematological, immunological, biochemical, and antioxidant parameters. The white blood cells (WBCs), hemoglobin, and neutrophils significantly increased after 50 days of feeding with the L. caspica extract, but until the 25th day, no significant difference was observed among the treatments except for hemoglobin. Immunological parameters (including Immunoglobulin M [IgM] and complement 3 [C3]) were significantly higher in treated groups compared to control both 25 days and 50 days posttreatment. However, on the 25th day, no significant difference was noticed between treatments and control in the case of lysozyme activity. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) considerably increased in comparison to the control group on the 50th day, but no significant difference was observed on the 25th day. In addition, feeding with L. caspica significantly increased the antioxidant enzyme activities on the 25th day (L. caspica 1% and 2% in peroxidase [POD] and superoxide dismutase [SOD] in all groups) and 50th day (catalase [CAT], SOD and L. caspica 1% and 2% in POD) in the spleen. The survival rate of fish challenged with Streptococcus agalactiae was considerably greater than the control group. Finally, it can be concluded that L. caspica extract is an immunological stimulant that induces fish resistance to S. agalactiae.
Replacement of Dietary Fishmeal with Clostridium autoethanogenum Protein on Lipidomics and Lipid Metabolism in Muscle of Pearl Gentian Grouper
Clostridium autoethanogenum protein (CAP) is an economical and alternative protein source. Here, three experimental diets were formulated with CAP replacing 0% (CAP-0), 30% (CAP-30), and 60% (CAP-60) of fishmeal to investigate the alterations of structure integrity, fatty acids profiles, and lipid metabolism in the muscle of pearl gentian grouper. With increasing levels of CAP substitution, the percentages of 16 : 0 or 18 : 0 were decreased in triglycerides (TG) and diacylglycerols (DG); 18 : 1 or 18 : 2 was increased at the sn−1 and sn−2 positions in phosphatidylethanolamines; 20 : 5n−3 was increased in TG and DG. The phosphatidylcholines (PC) (18 : 3/20 : 5), PC(22 : 6/17 : 1), and sphingomyelins (d19 : 0/24 : 4) were identified as potential lipid biomarkers between CAP treatments. The CAP-30 treatment enhanced lipolysis and lipogenesis, while the CAP-60 treatment inhibited lipogenesis. In conclusion, fishmeal replacement with CAP affected the lipid characteristics and lipid metabolism, whereas it did not affect the structural integrity and fatty acids profiles in the muscle of pearl gentian grouper.
Cottonseed Meal Protein Hydrolysate Improves the Growth Performance of Chinese Mitten Crab (Eriocheir sinensis) by Promoting the Muscle Growth and Molting Performance
Growth retardation and prolonged marketing cycle have been noticed in the practical aquaculture of Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) fed with artificial feed. Plant protein hydrolysates contain a large number of small peptides and free amino acids, which can improve the growth performance of aquatic animals. However, the potential mechanisms are still not well elucidated. In this research, the influences of cottonseed meal protein hydrolysate (CPH) on the growth, feed utilization, muscle growth, and molting performance were investigated in E. sinensis. A total of 240 crabs (mean body weight 37.32 ± 0.38 g) were individually randomly distributed to six diets supplemented with 0%, 0.2%, 0.4%, 0.8%, 1.6%, and 3.2% of CPH for 12 weeks. These findings indicated that the addition of CPH at 0.4% significantly increased the survival rate, body protein gain, apparent protein utilization, trypsin and pepsin activities, and the methyl farnesoate content. When the dose reached 0.8%, the weight growth ratio, meat yield, ecdysone concentration, and the transcription of the ecdysteroid receptor all significantly increased, while the transcriptions of both myostatin and molt-inhibiting hormone significantly decreased. When CPH was added at 1.6%–3.2%, the feed conversion ratio, body crude protein content, Na+/K+-ATPase activity, and the molting ratio were all significantly improved, while the opposite was true for the transcription of the transforming growth factor-β type I receptor. The investigation results indicated that when added above 0.4%, CPH could stimulate the growth performance of E. sinensis and promote the muscle growth and molting performance.
Effect of Dietary Incorporation of Yellow Mealworm as a Partial Fishmeal Replacer on Growth, Metabolism, and Intestinal Histomorphology in Juvenile Meagre (Argyrosomus regius)
Efforts have been made to find alternatives to fish meal (FM), as the sustainability of aquaculture depends on it. Insect meal (IM) is a potential candidate to partially replace FM, being more sustainable and economically viable. In this experimental trial, three diets were tested with different yellow mealworm incorporation: a control diet with no IM, a diet with an inclusion of 10% IM (Ins10), and a diet with an incorporation of 20% IM (Ins20). The diets were tested on 10.5 g meagre for 47 days. The results showed that an IM inclusion higher than 10% affected both growth (2.6 vs. 2.2) and FCR (1.5 vs. 1.9) of meagre juveniles. However, this reduction in growth did not result from lower protein retention or changes in muscle fibre area or density. Little differences were observed in the activity of pancreatic and intestinal enzymes except for aminopeptidase total activity which was higher in the control and Ins10 compared to Ins20 (3847 vs. 3540 mU/mg protein), suggesting no limitations in protein synthesis. Also, the alkaline phosphatase intestinal maturation index was higher in the control group compared to the IM groups (437 vs. 296). On the contrary, several differences were also found in the proteolytic activity in the hepatic and muscle tissues of meagre juveniles fed the Ins10 diet. The inclusion of IM had no impact on intestine histomorphology but changes were detected in the enterocytes of fish from control and Ins10 which showed hypervacuolization and nucleus misplacement compared to the Ins20 treatment. Nevertheless, a higher percentage of Vibrionaceae was recorded for meagre fed on the Ins20 diet. Since no signs of inflammation were observed in the distal intestine, this suggests IM incorporation could have had an important impact on intestinal health due to its antimicrobial properties. This is supported by an increase in the haematocrit in the treatments where IM was added (20 to 25%). In conclusion, incorporations of IM at percentages up to 10% do not seem to have a negative impact on meagre performance at this age but can enhance the fish immune system and protection against intestinal inflammation.
Effects of Oat Bran Addition on the Growth Performance and Intestinal Health of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) Exposed to Copper Ions
This study investigated the effects of the oat bran addition on the growth performance and intestinal health of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) exposed to copper ions. Four groups of diets containing 0%, 5%, 10%, and 20% oat bran were fed to Nile tilapia for four weeks. The results showed that oat bran had a dose-dependent effect on the growth performance of Nile tilapia. The addition of oat bran can increase the relative abundance of Delftia, which is capable of degrading heavy metals in the intestinal tract and alleviating the intestinal damage caused by copper ion stress. Compared to the control group, the 5% oat bran group had an increased intestinal antioxidant capacity. The relative gene expression of proinflammatory factors (NF-κB, IL-1β) was significantly downregulated in the 5% oat bran group (), and the relative gene expression of anti-inflammatory factors (TGF-β), HIF-1α, occludin, and claudin was significantly upregulated (). In conclusion, we suggest that 5% oat bran should be added to the diet to improve the growth performance of Nile tilapia and alleviate the negative effects of copper ion stress on intestinal health.