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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVING THE PRODUCTION EFFICIENCY AND SUSTAINABILITY OF MORONE SPECIES CULTURE

Location: Harry K. Dupree Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center

2005 Annual Report


1.What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it (summarize project aims and objectives)? How serious is the problem? What does it matter?
Nearly 1/3 of U.S. seafood consumption is composed of aquacultured products. Of that total, fish of the taxon Morone–-i.e., striped bass and their hybrids–-ranked fourth in the market, at 13 million pounds, representing a farm-gate value of $40 million in 2003. U.S. producers face increasing competition in the market. Efficiency and bottlenecks in the production of Morone sp. must be improved or alleviated to sustain and expand the U.S. industry.

Morone sp. are typically spawned in spring because breeders depend on mature fish captured from the wild. For the U.S. industry to remain globally competitive, stocks of domesticated broodstock must be developed and coupled with off-season spawning and larval feeding strategies to ensure year-round availability of genetically superior seedstock. Additionally, reduction of culture and handling stress must be accomplished through better understanding of the stress response of Morone sp. Gender-related differences in commercially relevant traits must be defined before they can be exploited in industry breeding programs. Understanding the regulation of Insulin-like Growth Factors I and II and their binding proteins (IGF-I, IGF-II, and IGFBPs) in fish is critical to increasing growth efficiency of Morone species.

The availability of nutrients and energy to Morone sp. in traditional and novel feedstuffs must be defined as the logical first step in the reduction of fishmeal in aquatic feeds. New diets with reduced fish meal and oil must be vetted in commercial settings before industry adoption. Nutrient requirements as well as feeding strategies for different life stages, culture systems, and seasons are currently lacking.

Genetic variation among stocks influences commercially important traits such as reproductive success, fry survival, response to stress, disease resistance, nutrient utilization, and growth. In order for Morone producers to remain globally competitive, a sustained research program must be initiated to.
1)identify phenotypic and molecular differences among stocks of white and striped bass,.
2)selectively breed progeny with desired traits, and.
3)develop molecular markers for economically relevant traits to aid selective breeding efforts.

The objectives of this project are:.
1)develop and refine year-round production of hybrid striped bass fingerlings through photothermal, dietary, and culture manipulation,.
2)increase hybrid striped bass production efficiency through physiological control of stress, gender, and hormonal growth factors,.
3)increase hybrid striped bass production efficiency by refining nutrient requirements, manipulating feeding strategy and diet nutrient density, and reducing fish meal and oil content, and.
4)develop genetically superior Morone sp.

This project addresses the following components of NP 106--Aquaculture:.
1)genetic improvement,.
2)reproduction and early development;.
3)growth and development, and nutrition;.
4)aquaculture production systems; and.
5)sustainability and environmental compatibility of aquaculture.

Striped bass growers as well as State and Federal hatcheries will benefit from improved culture methods for year-round production of fry and fingerlings. Commercial as well as government hatcheries and managers will have tangible recommendations with respect to stress management, nutrient requirements, and alternate diet formulations. Farmers will be able to utilize improved strains of striped bass, white bass and their hybrids to increase profitability and sustainability. Increased numbers of hybrid striped bass producers will provide jobs and support collateral industries, including agriculture, feed manufacturers, processors, and supply companies. Wholesalers, retailers, and consumers will benefit from increased supplies of safe, quality seafood products.


2.List the milestones (indicators of progress) from your Project Plan.
Year 1 (FY 2005)

Determine the effect of culture temperature on the growth rates of hybrid striped bass fry to optimize off-season fry culture.

Provide guidelines from stress experiments on white bass and striped bass that can be used as characteristics for broodstock selection.

Produce monosex populations of striped bass using hormonal sex reversal techniques and select potential broodstock for producing all female populations for use in aquaculture.

Establish optimum temperatures for sunshine bass culture using insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) response profiles.

Provide the hybrid striped bass industry with recommendations regarding optimum dietary protein to energy ratio for different culture temperatures.

Year 2 (FY 2006)

Determine initial photothermal effects on early maturation of broodstock.

Determine optimum live feed densities for hybrid striped bass fry.

Identify the stress effects of salinity and therapeutic drug exposure to sunshine bass to develop better culture conditions.

Establish the effects of photoperiod and salinity on plasma insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) concentrations and feeding in sunshine bass to refine optimum culture conditions. Provide digestibility coefficients for nutrients in Alaskan fish processing by-products and grain protein isolates to feed mills as a first step in replacing fishmeal in diet formulations.

Select first year broodstock based on maximum sperm density, motility and milt volume for male striped bass and egg yield for female white bass.

Correlate stress response of striped bass (or white bass) to stock origin.

Year 3 (FY 2007)

Characterize reproductive output of normal Morone broodstock as a prerequisite to achieving reliable off-season spawning.

Determine optimum hybrid striped bass larval density in tank culture.

Characterize differences in the stress response among strains of white and striped bass.

Establish the heritability of the stress response in Morone sp stocks.

Produce and identify XX male striped bass. Establish strain differences in insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) plasma concentrations of white bass and striped bass that might be used as selection criteria for improved broodstock.

Quantify dietary requirements for the essential amino acids isoleucine, leucine, and valine in hybrid striped bass.

Provide recommendations regarding optimum dietary levels of poultry meal for pond, tank, and recirculated system culture of hybrid striped bass.

Characterize growth performance of hybrid striped bass fed diets in which fishmeal is replaced by Alaskan fishery processing byproducts.

Characterize strain differences in insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF I) and carbohydrate use in striped bass (or white bass) stocks.

Year 4 (FY 2008)

Characterize reproductive output of second-year normal vs. first-year phase-shifted Morone broodstock as a prerequisite to achieving reliable off-season spawning.

Determine earliest time-to-wean to prepared diet for sunshine bass fry.

Establish desirable handling intensity and frequency conditions for sunshine bass based on stress response.

Produce XX, all female, strains of striped bass by crossing hormonally sex-reversed XX males with normal, XX, females.

Correlate stress effects with plasma insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) in sunshine bass to help optimize culture conditions.

Quantify dietary requirements for the essential amino acids phenylalanine and histidine in hybrid striped bass.

Quantify dietary essential fatty acid requirements for hybrid striped bass fed ultrahigh fat (>15%) diets.

Provide recommendations to feed mills regarding optimum levels of Alaskan fishery processing byproducts to replace fishmeal in hybrid striped bass diets.

Characterize growth performance of hybrid striped bass fed diets in which fishmeal is replaced with grain protein isolates.

Characterize growth performance of hybrid striped bass fed diets in which fish oil is replaced with Alaskan fishery byproducts (visceral meal).

Characterize strain differences in weaning time of striped bass (or white bass) fry to prepared feed.

Establish the heritability of the stress response in hybrid striped bass (sunshine bass) from selected striped and white bass broodstock.

Year 5 (FY 2009)

Characterize reproductive output of third-year normal vs. second-year phase-shifted Morone broodstock as a prerequisite to achieving reliable off-season spawning.

Determine effects of enriched rotifer and Artemia on sunshine bass fry growth and survival.

Produce YY male striped bass by mating hormonally feminized XY female striped bass with normal (XY) males. Produce an all male strain of YY striped bass males.

Provide recommendations to hatcheries regarding the use of plasma insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) concentrations of white and striped bass broodstock for selecting ideal parental sources from which to produce sunshine bass.

Provide recommendations to feed mills regarding optimum levels of grain protein isolates to replace fishmeal in hybrid striped bass diets.

Provide recommendations to feed mills regarding optimum levels of Alaskan fishery byproducts (visceral meal) to replace fish oil in hybrid striped bass diets.

Re-estimate hybrid striped bass requirements for the essential amino acid lysine and total sulfur amino acids (methionine + cystiene) using soy-based diets.

Quantify the requirement of hybrid striped bass for essential fatty acids when fed different ratios of arachidonic (20:4) to eicosapentanoic acids (20:5).

Summarize and present data to the industry on the heritability of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF I) secretion capacity, weaning time, and carbohydrate use in hybrid striped bass.


4a.What was the single most significant accomplishment this past year?
Development of Nutritional Strategies for Summer and Winter Culture of Hybrid Striped Bass. Diet recommendations for summer and winter culture of hybrid striped bass (HSB) were developed at the HKD Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center and adopted by commercial producers. Seasonal extremes in pond temperatures reduce feed consumption, nutrient assimilation, and nutrient retention and result in deterioration of water quality, wasted feed, stress, disease, and increased cost. In two cooperative studies with the HSB industry, we determined the influence of different diet protein and energy levels on feed consumption, growth, composition of growth, and protein and energy retention in fish reared at temperatures simulating summer (32 C) and winter (8 – 25 C). This work provided essential information requested by industry and improved production efficiency during summer and winter production at commercial pond facilities.


4b.List other significant accomplishments, if any.
Potassium Permanganate Reduces Primary Productivity in Hybrid Striped Bass Ponds. Scientists at the HKD Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center determined that the chemical potassium permanganate may temporarily harm the aquatic food chain in hybrid striped bass (HSB) ponds when used during the summer to kill fish diseases. Potassium permanganate is a chemical that shows promise in killing disease organisms in HSB ponds. Before it can be labeled by FDA for public use, however, the environmental effects of potassium permanganate must be determined. We treated several HSB ponds with potassium permanganate during the summer when nutrient levels in the ponds were high and then measured the types and numbers of organisms at the base of the aquatic food chain. We found a significant decline in zooplankton concentrations, principally rotifer, and algae after the permanganate treatment. This data will be used by FDA to set limits and conditions of future use of potassium permanganate as a treatment against diseases in hybrid striped bass.

Lethal pH in Hybrid Striped Bass Ponds Reduced by Fertilization Method, Not Baking Soda. Scientists at the HKD Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center found a relationship between fertilization method, water pH, and survival of hybrid striped bass (HSB) fry that may increase production in commercial fry ponds. Fry ponds are fertilized to stimulate the growth of live food organisms; however, when producers use chemical fertilizers the fry often die when pH levels become too high. We treated several HSB fry ponds with chemical or organic fertilizers, or commercial baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and observed the change in pond acidity (pH) and fry survival. Adding baking soda failed to prevent lethal increases in pH during algae blooms but using organic fertilizers did. These findings suggest that commercial HSB hatcheries can significantly improve year-round production of HSB by using only organic fertilizers during most of the fry phase.

Growth Factor (IGF-I) Higher in Hybrid Striped Bass at Optimal Temperatures. Scientists at the HKD Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center demonstrated that growth factor in hybrid striped bass (HSB) is higher at 25C and 30C than at lower temperatures. Knowing the optimum temperature that stimulates the release of natural growth hormones could improve the efficiency of fish production. Plasma IGF I is a hormone produced by the liver that stimulates growth. By measuring IGF-I in HSB grown at various controlled temperatures we determined the optimum culture temperatures for commercial tank producers.

Oral Cortisol Does Not Improve Stress-Induced Decreases in Hybrid Striped Bass Growth Factor. Scientists at the HKD Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center demonstrated that a natural hormone (IGF-I) that stimulates growth decreases significantly in stressed hybrid striped (HSB) and that cortisol, another natural hormone, delivered orally has no effect on IGF I levels. Better understanding of the stress response of HSB is necessary to develop management strategies to reduce disease and mortality due to handling stress. We subjected HSB to acute low-water confinement and measured IGF-I in the blood before and after oral cortisol treatments and found no improvement in IGF-I. If cortisol does not mediate the stress-induced decrease in IGF-I, it becomes important to identify the physiological cause.

Growth and Growth Factor (IGF-I) Similar in Two Kinds of Hybrid Striped Bass. In an 18-month pond study, scientists at the HKD Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center found that the two main hybrids of striped bass, the palmetto and sunshine bass, grew at similar rates. Advantages and disadvantages exist for the commercial production of either hybrid; however, most of the industry is based on the sunshine bass. Growth and growth factor (IGF-I) levels in the blood were similar at the end of the trial between the two hybrids, and there were no consistent differences in IGF-I between males and females. The growth trial and hormone measurements were conducted at the ARS - H.K. Dupree Stuttgart National Aquaculture Center using palmetto bass produced by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and sunshine bass produced at a commercial fish farm. These data support current commercial and research efforts toward maximizing sunshine bass production in the U.S.


4c.List any significant activities that support special target populations.
None.


5.Describe the major accomplishments over the life of the project, including their predicted or actual impact.
Stocking Rates of Hybrid Striped Bass Fry Affect Growth but not Total Yield. Both commercial and publicly funded hybrid striped bass (HSB) hatcheries need to know the optimum number of fry (juvenile fish immediately after hatching) to stock in culture tanks to maximize fingerling production. Scientists at the HKD Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center discovered a relationship between stocking density and growth of HSB fry raised in tanks with unlimited feed that could optimize commercial fry production. We stocked indoor tanks with different densities of HSB fry and offered live food in abundance. When fry were weaned from live to artificial feed, we counted and weighed the fish and found that fish grew less at higher stocking densities, but total yield (fish number x average weight) was similar. If adopted by industry, this information has the potential impact of allowing HSB hatcheries to optimize fry production for their particular production needs. This accomplishment addresses Year 3 (2007) milestone of CRIS Project No. 6225-31630-005-00D: Determine optimum hybrid striped bass larval density in tank culture, and the following components of NP 106 - Aquaculture: Reproduction and Early Development; Growth, Development, and Nutrition; Aquaculture Production Systems; and Sustainability and Environmental Compatibility of Aquaculture. This accomplishment also addresses ARS Strategic Plan Objective 1.2 - Contribute to the Efficiency of Agricultural Production Systems and specifically Performance Measures 1.2.1, 1.2.2, and 1.2.5.

Oral Estrogen Does not Improve Growth of Juvenile Hybrid Striped Bass. Aquaculture producers and scientists need to understand how fish gender and sex hormones affect commercially relevant production traits. Little is understood about the effect and timing of sex hormones on fish growth, but we do know that female striped bass grow faster by harvest time. Scientists at the HKD Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center found that growth and growth factor hormone (IGF-I) in very young (phase-I) hybrid striped bass (HSB) were actually reduced when fish were fed diets containing the female sex hormone, estrogen. This scientific knowledge is an important step in further characterizing HSB genetic resources and has the potential impact of optimizing HSB production systems. This accomplishment addresses Year 1 (2005) milestone of CRIS Project No. 6225-31630-005-00D: Produce monosex populations of striped bass using hormonal sex reversal techniques and select potential broodstock for producing all female populations for use in aquaculture and the following components of NP 106 - Aquaculture: Reproduction and Early Development; Growth, Development, and Nutrition; Aquaculture Production Systems; and Sustainability and Environmental Compatibility of Aquaculture. This accomplishment also addresses ARS Strategic Plan Objective 1.2 - Contribute to the Efficiency of Agricultural Production Systems and specifically Performance Measures 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.4, and 1.2.5.

Nutritional Strategies for Summer and Winter Culture of Hybrid Striped Bass. Hybrid striped bass producers need diet recommendations for summer and winter culture. Seasonal extremes in pond temperatures reduce feed consumption, nutrient assimilation, and nutrient retention and result in deterioration of water quality, wasted feed, stress, disease, and increased cost. In two cooperative studies with the hybrid stiped bass industry, scientists at the HKD Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center determined the influence of different diet protein and energy levels on feed consumption, growth, composition of growth, and protein and energy retention in fish reared at temperatures simulating summer (32 C) and winter (8 – 25 C). The actual impact of this accomplishment is that HSB pond producers adopted the seasonal diet formulations developed in this research. This accomplishment addresses Year 1 (2005) milestone of CRIS Project No. 6225-31630-005-00D: Provide the hybrid striped bass industry with recommendations regarding optimum dietary protein to energy ratio for different culture temperatures and the following components of NP 106 - Aquaculture: Growth, Development, and Nutrition; Aquaculture Production Systems; and Sustainability and Environmental Compatibility of Aquaculture. This accomplishment also addresses ARS Strategic Plan Objective 1.2 - Contribute to the Efficiency of Agricultural Production Systems and specifically Performance Measures 1.2.1, 1.2.2, and 1.2.5.


6.What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end-user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology products?
Results of research studies and technologies developed were made available to customers and the general public through oral presentations (technical and non technical), poster presentations at local, state, national and international meetings, and scientific papers.


7.List your most important publications in the popular press and presentations to organizations and articles written about your work. (NOTE: List your peer reviewed publications below).
Ludwig, G.M., Perschbacher, P., Edziyie, R. 2004. Effects of aerially-applied corn herbicides Atrazine, Rimsulfuron and Nicosulfuron on the plankton communities and water quality of sunshine bass ponds. University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Aquaculture Field Day.

Gaylord, T.G.G., Rawles, S.D. 2005. Advancements in hybrid striped bass nutrition research at ARS/HKD-SNARC. Invited talk to faculty of NCSU and the NC Aquaculture Association, Raleigh, NC.

Ludwig, G.M., Hobbs, M.S., Perschbacher, P. 2004. Control of pH in sunshine bass fingerling production ponds [abstract]. Book of Abstracts, University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff Aquaculture Field Day. p. 51.


Review Publications
Ludwig, G.M. 2004. Sunshine bass fingerling culture in tanks. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Recirculating Aqauaculture. p. 102-110.

Ludwig, G.M. 2004. Sunshine bass fingerling culture in tanks [abstract]. Book of Abstracts, Aquaculture America. p. 251.

Ludwig, G.M., Hobbs, M.S., Perschbacher, P. 2004. Control of pH in sunshine bass fingerling production ponds [abstract]. Book of Abstracts, Aquaculture America. p. 253.

Ludwig, G.M., Edzigie, R., Perschbacher, P. 2004. Effects of Basis Gold herbicide on sunshine bass culture ponds [abstract]. American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting. p. 2.

Ludwig, G.M., Perschbacher, P., Egzigie, R. 2004. The effects of Basis Gold herbicide on water quality and plankton in sunshine bass fingerling production ponds [abstract]. Book of Abstracts, Aquaculture America. p. 252.

Perschbacher, P., Ludwig, G.M., Edzigie, R. 2005. Effects of propanil, diuron and atrazine on sunshine bass plankton and water quality [abstract]. Book of Abstracts, Aquaculture America. p. 322.

Davis Jr, K.B. 2004. Consequences of stress in aquaculture [abstract]. American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting. p. 159.

Davis Jr, K.B. 2005. Influence of temperature stress and cortisol on plasma insulin-like growth factor-i in sunshine bass [abstract]. Comparative Endocrinology International Congress Abstracts (Final Program). p. 62.

Davis Jr, K.B. 2004. Temperature affects physiological stress responses to acute confinement in sunshine bass (Morone chrysops x Morone saxatilis). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. 139:433-440.

Trimpey, J., Engle, C., Heikes, D., Davis Jr, K.B., Goodwin, A. 2004. A comparison of new in-pond grading technology to live car grading for food-sized channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus). Aquacultural Engineering. 31:276.

Rawles, S.D., Gaylord, T.G., Lochmann, R. 2005. Glucose oxidation and lipogenesis in hybrid striped bass fed diets with different starch ratios [abstractM72]. American Society of Animal Science Annual Meeting. Journal of Animal Science 83 (Supplement 1):24.

Rawles, S.D., Gaylord, T.G., Lochmann, R. 2005. Heptic glucose oxidation and lipogenesis in sunshine bass fed diets with different amylose to amylopectin ratios [abstract]. Book of Abstracts, Aquaculture America. p. 357.

Lochmann, R., Rawles, S.D., Gaylord, T.G. 2005. Body indices, blood lipid class composition and proximateanalysis of sunshine bass fed diets with different amylose to amylopectin [abstract]. Book of Abstracts, Aquaculture America. p. 246.

Gopinathan, B., Lochmann, R., Rawles, S.D. 2005. Growth and hematological parameters of largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides fed practical diets with different lipid sources [abstract]. Book of Abstracts, Aquaculture America. p. 157.

Gaylord, T.G., Rawles, S.D., Gatlin, D.M. 2004. Amino acid availability from animal, blended, and plant feedstuffs for hybrid striped bass (Morone chrysops x M. saxatilis). Aquaculture Nutrition. 10(5):345-352.

Davis Jr, K.B., Gaylord, T.G. 2005. Metabolic consequences of feed deprivation in sunshine bass [abstract]. Book of Abstracts, Aquaculture America. p. 101.

Davis Jr, K.B. 2005. Influence of the photoperiod on feed consumption, growth, intraperitoneal fat composition and insulin-like growth factor-i on sunshine bass [abstract]. Book of Abstracts, Aquaculture America. p. 100.

Green, B.W., Perschbacher, P., Ludwig, G.M. 2005. Impact of threadfin shad on plankton in channel catfish production ponds. Book of Abstracts, Aquaculture America. p. 159.

Davis Jr, K.B., Simco, B.A., Silverstein, J. 2005. Relationship of gonadal development to body size and plasma estrogen concentrations in channel catfish inctalurus punctatus. North American Journal of Aquaculture. 67:259-264.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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