Submitted to: Fish Nutrition and Feeding Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Taurine is a beta-amino sulfur amino acid found in most animal tissues. It has many important biological functions in mammals including membrane stabilization, antioxidation, cellular osmoregulation, detoxification, neuromodulation, and brain and eye development. Taurine supplementation in juvenile channel catfish has not been examined. Juvenile catfish (5.6 g/fish) were fed a basal diet that contained major protein (soybean meal, cottonseed meal) and energy (ground corn grain, wheat middlings) ingredients that were derived from plant sources. Plant-source ingredients are considered to be low (< 0.01%) for taurine content. The basal diet was supplemented with 4 levels of crystalline taurine to provide 0, 0.1, 0.2, and 0.5% taurine. In addition, a fifth diet contained 8% menhaden fishmeal formulated with the same plant-source ingredients was included as the positive control diet. Analysis showed the 8% fishmeal diet contained 0.03% taurine. The fish were fed the five diets once daily for 12 weeks. The amount of diet fed was based on daily feeding responses. At day 0 and week 12, the fish were group-weighed to obtain data for body weight gain (g). Additionally, at 12 weeks, feed intake, feed conversion ratio (FCR), and percent survival were determined. Weight gain was highest in catfish fed taurine at 0.2% (47.8 g/fish) compared to catfish fed the control basal diet (40.8 g/fish) and 8% fishmeal diet (41.1 g/fish) (P < 0.05). Weight gain was similar among catfish fed taurine supplemented diets. Feed conversion ratio was significantly improved in fish fed diets supplemented with taurine at 0.2% compared to all other treatments (P < 0.01). Survival during the growth study was 98.0% for the fish fed the control diet and the fish fed the diet containing 8% fishmeal. All diets containing taurine had 99.0% survival. The results suggest taurine supplementation to juvenile catfish may improve weight gain and FCR.