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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Improving Sustainability of Rainbow Trout Production by Integrated Development of Improved Grains, Feeds, and Trout

Location: Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research

2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this research is to improve the sustainability and production efficiency of rainbow trout by developing innovative feeds that reduce dependence on marine fishery resources. Objective 1: Identify and develop grain lines with desirable traits for either direct or indirect use in aquafeeds. Objective 2: Develop mechanical, chemical and biological methods to improve the nutritional and anti-nutritional profile of grains, by-products and other alternative ingredients. Objective 3: Determine nutritional value of alternative ingredients (protein, lipid, energy) and develop practical feed formulations for improved strains of fish. Objective 4: Determine optimal nutrient supplementation levels for specific life stages of improved strains of trout. Objective 5: Use gene expression analyses to advance the understanding of gene targets for improving nutrition, growth, and development processes under production conditions. Objective 6: Identify phenotypic differences in rainbow trout for growth and utilization of plant-based sustainable diets and determine the genetic variation for the identified traits.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
A multidisciplinary approach will used combining expertise in the fields of plant genetics, grain processing, fish nutrition and physiology, and fish genetics. Grain lines will be identified that have traits desirable for fish feeds. Phenotypic differences in trout for their ability to utilize plant-based feeds will also be identified. Grains will be further modified through physical, biological or chemical methods to improve their nutritional profile for trout. Feeds will be formulated using alternative ingredients to fish meal and to meet the nutritional requirements for improved strains of trout This project will benefit; fish farmers through improved feeds and environmental compliance through reduced nutrient release, identified traits and markers to aid stock improvement efforts, feed manufacturers with alternate ingredients, reduced costs, price stability, and improved diet formulations, and grain farmers with new markets and products, and the consumer with a safe, sustainable, nutritious food supply and cleaner environment. FY99 Program Increase $225,000 Add 1 SY for research on cereal grains & fish FY03 Program Increase $223,537 Add 1 SY FY04 Program Increase $241,566 Add 1 SY FY04 Program Increase $584,232 Add 1 SY FY05 Program Increase $111,600 Replaces 5366-21310-002-00D (12/04). FY06 Program Increase $89,100 Replacing 5366-21310-003-00D 12/11/2009.


3.Progress Report
Research into all 6 objectives of the new project was initiated. From grain and trout genetics to fish nutrition and grain chemistry, research is progressing and milestones are being met.

A new scientist was hired to fill a vacancy from the previous year. The scientist joined the team and has developed a project plan amendment which is now circulating for approval. It is proposed to focus on strengthening existing objectives in determining the role of production stressors on nutrient requirements and the effect of trout strain on the ability to withstand those stressors.

Identification and mapping of drought tolerance genes in wheat. Drought tolerance is the critical trait for sustainable production of small grain crops. ARS scientist in Aberdeen ID, identified the functional genes that contribute to drought tolerance. This allows for the development of DNA markers that can be used for selection programs for wheat for increased drought tolerance. Thirteen genes were identified and mapped in wheat and DNA markers were developed for those genes. The results of this research will aid in the development of drought tolerant crops.

Two high beta-glucan barley varieties were developed. Beta-glucan is an important nutrient in human nutracuetical industry and barley is often used as a source. ARS scientist in Aberdeen ID, in collaboration with a commercial barley breeder, developed two barley varieties with significantly higher beta-glucan content. Those varieties are useful for food barley and commercial beta-glucan extraction. The results of this research will result in higher yields of this nutrient per acre of barley grown.

Fish meal free diets tested with multiple species. Fish meal is an ingredient in short supply for the rapidly expanding aquaculture industry. Leveraging research with rainbow trout, ARS researchers in Hagerman Idaho, have formulated and manufactured fish meal free diets for Atlantic salmon, arctic char, cobia, yellowtail, and white seabass. Good growth and feed conversions were observed further proving that aquaculture feeds do not need to depend on fish meal


4.Accomplishments
1. ARS trout lines incorporated into commercial lines. ARS researchers in Hagerman, ID, have selected lines of rainbow trout for several generations for improved performance when fed fish-meal free, barley containing diets. Working jointly with CRADA partner, these trout were incorporated into the breeding program. During the next production cycle these fish will account for at least 15% of commercially produced rainbow trout in the United States. Improved genetic trout lines from the ARS broodstock program are available to the trout industry and to trout researchers nationwide.

2. A novel method developed for production of an improved soy concentrate for aquafeeds. Soy protein concentrate (SPC) is a highly nutritious ingredient in aquafeeds, but is currently too expensive to be practical. ARS researchers in Aberdeen, ID, have developed a modified method for the production of feed grade SPC and are working with CRADA partner in pilot scale testing and possible commercialization. Availability of a feed grade SPC will make fish meal free diets more cost effective and the aquaculture industry more sustainable.


Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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