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Title: First-limiting amino acids in soybean-based diets for white seabass Atractoscion nobilis

item JIRSA, DAVE - Hubbs-Sea World
item SALZE, GUILLAUME - Auburn University
item Barrows, Frederic
item DAVIS, D - Auburn University
item DRAWBRIDGE, MARK - Hubbs-Sea World

Submitted to: Aquaculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/26/2013
Publication Date: 8/31/2013
Publication URL:
Citation: Jirsa, D., Salze, G.P., Barrows, F., Davis, D.A., Drawbridge, M. 2013. First-limiting amino acids in soybean-based diets for white seabass Atractoscion nobilis. Aquaculture. 414–415:167–172.

Interpretive Summary: The demand for seafood has been rising steadily worldwide for the last 15 years. All wild fisheries are now at, or above, the maximum sustainable harvest yields, so aquaculture must make up this difference which makes aquaculture the fastest growing segment of agriculture. Fish meal (wild harvested sardines anchovies, herring, etc.) has been the primary ingredient in aquaculture feeds for many years. In the last decade, however, rising fish meal prices, intense regulation of nutrients in hatchery effluents, and the debate on the sustainability of fish meal as an aquafeed ingredient has intensified research in this area. Reducing the amount of fish meal in aquaculture feeds is essential for continued growth of the industry. This study demonstrates that with the proper supplementation of amino acids fish meal can be decreased and eliminated in the diet of white sea bass.

Technical Abstract: The present study aims to identify the limiting amino acids in low fish meal, soy-based diets in juvenile white seabass. Two 8-week trials were conducted. The first trial evaluated three diets containing 36, 18 and 9% fish meal in the diet (FM36, FM18, FM9, respectively), with the last two diets being supplemented with methionine and taurine. In the second trial, seven diets were formulated, including a high (36%) fish meal diet (HFM, similar to FM36) and five diets with medium (18%) fishmeal levels. These included an unsupplemented diet (MFM) and four with increasing levels of methionine (+M, +2M) and taurine (+2MT and +2M2T) supplementation. An additional diet was formulated with soy protein and poultry by-product meal to completely replace fish meal (PM). In trial 1, fish fed the FM18 diet grew significantly faster than fish fed the FM36and FM9diets. In trial 2, fish fed the +2M2T diet grew better than fish fed any other diets, and feed efficiency was highest in fish fed the +2M2T and PM diets. Fish fed the unsupplemented MFM diet had the lowest growth and feed efficiency. Methionine supplementation (+M and +2M) had a limited but significant effect on growth performance compared to MFM-fed fish. Fish fed the PM diet showed similar growth as those fed the +2MT and commercial diets, but was lower than +2M2T diet. Across both trials, growth rate was highly correlated with dietary taurine, except in diets containing less than 18% fish meal, i.e., diets PM and FM9. Both of these diets had equivalent or superior dietary taurine levels compared to diets +2M2T and FM18, but resulted in significantly poorer growth. This suggests that taurine is the first-limiting nutrient in feeds containing at least 18% fish meal while methionine was marginally deficient. In diets containing lower levels of fish meal however, methionine and taurine supplementation is ineffective; hence another (undetermined) nutrient became first-limiting. Additional research is necessary to identify this limiting nutrient, as well as determine the specific taurine requirement of WSB.