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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Aberdeen, Idaho » Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research » Research » Research Project #437676

Research Project: Improving Nutrient Utilization to Increase the Production Efficiency and Sustainability of Rainbow Trout Aquaculture

Location: Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research

Project Number: 2050-21310-006-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Dec 28, 2019
End Date: Dec 27, 2024

Objective:
The long-term objective of this research project is to provide stakeholders with products and information that can be used to improve sustainable production of rainbow trout. This will be accomplished by identifying novel ingredients with potential for use in aquaculture feeds, isolating new nutritional compounds and improving methods of isolating relevant dietary components, and verifying that formulations and dietary components are beneficial for fish growth and health with minimal impact on receiving waters. Feeds and improved rearing practices will be evaluated on existing commercial strains of rainbow trout. Traits of interest will be identified, and improved trout strains generated and tested. In addition to improvements in feed and strains, feeding and rearing practices will be developed for incorporation into best management plans. ARS researchers will work closely with stakeholders to ensure rapid dispersion of information to the industry. Specifically, during the next five years we will focus on the following objectives: Objective 1: Develop novel methods for creating and evaluating new ingredients and feeds. • Subobjective 1A: Innovate methods to make alternative protein ingredients containing encapsulated oils. (Liu, Vacant Nutritionist and Welker) • Subobjective 1B: Improve assay methods for acid insoluble ash and make it a reliable marker for digestibility studies. Objective 2: Develop feed formulation and processing technologies that minimize impacts on water quality. • Subobjective 2A: Develop feed formulation strategies that increase the stability of fecal castings (durability and particle size) and feed pellets to improve waste collection and water quality (particularly through addition of naturally occurring binders and modification of processing conditions). • Subobjective 2B: Determine the best performing combination of feed processing conditions, starch characteristics (e.g. amylose:amylopectin ratio, particle size, molecular structure), and diet formulation to enhance fecal and feed stability. Objective 3: Identify factors affecting the utilization of sustainable feeds and develop strategies to improve rainbow trout production systems. • Subobjective 3A: Use genomic methods and physiological assessments to analyze the effects of different formulated feeds and water quality conditions in different strains of rainbow trout. (Overturf and Welker). • Subobjective 3B: Improve rainbow trout to convert plant protein and lipids efficiently for enhanced growth.

Approach:
Obj 1: Develop novel methods for creating and evaluating new ingredients and feeds. Research Goal: Generate new methods to increase oil content of trout feed via encapsulation to prevent lipid oxidation, oil leakage, and extend shelf-life. Develop an improved assay method for acid insoluble ash (AIA). Oil encapsulation of vegetable oils will be tested by spray drying and coacervation. Various plant protein dispersions will be prepared by testing mixes of soy or other plant proteins. Analysis of the microencapsulated particles and then the digestibility of ingredients captured within the capsules will measured and evaluated when fed to fish. Using different materials with varying levels of ash and AIA, a newly modified technique will compare the utilization of using AIA against existing techniques in determining digestibility of feed ingredients. If we cannot develop a product with 99% EE then 70% EE will be considered valuable. If AIA is low a commercial form of silica will be added. Obj 2. Develop feed formulation and processing technologies that minimize impacts on water quality. Hypothesis: Feed processing and addition of natural binders to commercial diet formulations will increase the durability and stability of trout feces and feed pellets in water. Strategies that increase the stability of feed material to improve water quality will be tested by evaluating processing conditions, the effectiveness of binders, gelatinization and the addition of additives to improve the flotation of diet and fecal particles. A commercial diet formulation for rainbow trout will be processed by extrusion and expansion pelleting. The pellet types/diets will be tested in growth trials with water quality monitoring. Using the best processing conditions three varieties of wheat & barley will be tested. The effects of grain source, feed processing and addition of cork on pellet and fecal characteristics, digestibility, growth, and water quality will be evaluated. If the tested binders do not provide adequate results additional binders may be tested. Obj 3: Identify factors affecting the utilization of sustainable feeds and develop strategies to improve rainbow trout production systems. Research Goal: Measure effects and interactions of trout strain, feed, and water quality to guide development of management practices to increase production efficiency and to use genetic selection to improve conversion of plant lipids to EPA and DHA. The diets from objectives 1 & 2 will then be tested in multiple strains of trout in water of worsening quality. The effect of diet on fish performance will be evaluated across water conditions and compared to performance for these strains and diets when tested under laboratory conditions. To determine the ability of rainbow trout to biosynthesize and convert plant lipid to EPA and DHA, we will generate & test family crosses generated from individuals with known muscle fatty acid ratios. Offspring will be reared on the complete plant-based feed & phenotypes observed & used for selection of the next generation of broodstock. As more robust analysis methods become available, we will implement these procedures in our analyses.