Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stuttgart, Arkansas » Harry K. Dupree Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Cntr » Research » Research Project #428534

Research Project: Developing Nutritional, Genetic, and Management Strategies to Enhance Warmwater Finfish Production

Location: Harry K. Dupree Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Cntr

Project Number: 6028-31630-008-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Mar 6, 2015
End Date: Mar 5, 2020

Objective:
Objective 1: Develop novel ingredients and formulate diets for warmwater finfish. Novel ingredients and new formulations will target reduced reliance on fishmeal in the diets, enhanced nutrient delivery (e.g., better amino acid availability), and reduced anti-nutritional factors. Sub-objective 1A: Develop and validate practical all-plant protein diets for hybrid striped bass (HSB) and white bass (WB). Sub-objective 1B: Determine optimal inclusion level of distiller’s dried grains with solubles and high-protein distillers dried grains with solubles in diets for Nile tilapia. Sub-objective 1C: Determine optimal inclusion level of cottonseed meal and poultry by-product meal in diets for largemouth bass. Objective 2: Obtain and test white bass broodfish from multiple populations for improved production of hybrid striped bass. Key phenotypic traits will be defined and a white bass broodstock will be established. Sub-objective 2A: Obtain and produce white bass from multiple geographically distinct populations. Sub-objective 2B: Conduct white bass strain performance evaluation and selection. Sub-objective 2C: Hybrid striped bass performance evaluation. Objective 3: Compare and optimize production of hybrid striped bass in biofloc technology and pond production systems. Sub-objective 3A: Define stocking rate/initial biomass – yield relationship for HSB in a biofloc technology system. Sub-objective 3B: Compare production of HSB in biofloc technology and pond production systems.

Approach:
Identify promising feed palatants that enhance all plant protein (APP) diet feed intake; identify plant proteins for use in APP test diets; formulate a series of marine fish meal (FM) replacement diets using ideal protein theory, plant protein blends, and feed additives designed to ameliorate ingredient deficiencies; characterize growth performance, nutrient retention, gut microflora, and metabolic gene expression in response to FM replacement diet; and validate promising APP diets in a pond production trial. Feeding studies will evaluate the effect of partial or total replacement of FM by either Distiller’s dried grains with solubles or high protein Distiller’s dried grains with solubles in the diet of Nile tilapia on feed intake, growth, feed conversion, and histology of the intestine. A feeding study will evaluate the effect of substitution of FM by various ratios of poultry by-product meal and cottonseed meal in practical diets for juvenile largemouth bass on growth performance, health status, and body composition. Adult white bass (WB) will be acquired from three distinct regions of the species’ native range (Arkansas River, AR, Central and South TX, and Upper Tennessee River, TN), spawned and the genetic diversity and production performance of multiple strains and families will be compared in tanks and ponds to our domesticated WB broodfish population in order to select superior performing families to use in developing improved synthetic lines. Evaluate production performance of families of hybrid striped bass (HSB) made from the WB improved synthetic lines. Quantify the relationship between the HSB stocking rate/initial biomass – yield relationship to produce advanced fingerlings in the biofloc technology production system and compare to traditional pond production method.