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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Orono, Maine » National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #340763

Research Project: Genetic Improvement Of Marine Fish and Shellfish

Location: National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center

Title: A transdisciplinary approach to the initial validation of a single cell protein as an alternative protein source for use in aquafeeds

item TLUSTY, MICHAEL - New England Aquarium
item RHYNE, ANDREW - University Of Massachusetts
item SZCZEBAK, JOSEPH - Roger Williams University
item BOWEN, JENNIFER - Northeastern University
item BOURQUE, BRADFORD - Roger Williams University
item Burr, Gary
item MARX, CHRISTOPHER - Knipbio, Inc
item FEINBERG, LARRY - Knipbio, Inc

Submitted to: PeerJ
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2017
Publication Date: 3/31/2017
Citation: Tlusty, M., Rhyne, A., Szczebak, J., Bourque, B.D., Bowen, J.L., Burr, G.S., Marx, C.J., Feinberg, L. 2017. A transdisciplinary approach to the initial validation of a single cell protein as an alternative protein source for use in aquafeeds. PeerJ. 5:e3170. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3170.

Interpretive Summary: The world population is increasing and new and novel protein sources are needed to be able feed this increase. Most of the protein sources investigated in the past have been plant protein sources, however these protein sources will not be enough to be able to keep up with demand. Recently, single cell protein (SCP) sources have begun to be studied. This study looks at the effects of a bacterial protein source on the protein, energy and lipid digestibility in Atlantic salmon, the growth of cultured white shrimp, and the performance of smallmouth grunt. This study demonstrates that this single cell protein source is a viable protein ingredient in aquafeeds for a variety of farmed species.

Technical Abstract: The human population is growing and, globally, we must meet the challenge of increased protein needs required to feed this population. Single cell proteins (SCP), when coupled to aquaculture production, offers a means to ensure future protein needs can be met without direct competition with food for people. To demonstrate a given type of SCP has potential as a protein source for use in aquaculture feed, a number of steps need to be validated including demonstrating that the SCP is accepted by the species in question, leads to equivalent survival and growth, does not result in illness or other maladies, is palatable to the consumer, is cost effective to produce and can easily be incorporated into diets using existing technology. Here we examine white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) growth and consumer taste preference, smallmouth grunt (Haemulon chrysargyreum) growth, survival, health and gut microbiota, and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) digestibility when fed diets that substitute the bacterium Methylobacterium extorquens at a level of 30% (grunts), 100% (shrimp), or 55% (salmon) of the fishmeal in a compound feed. In each of these tests, animals performed equivalently when fed diets containing M. extorquens as when fed a standard aquaculture diet. This transdisciplinary approach is a first validation of this bacterium as a potential SCP protein substitute in aquafeeds. Given the ease to produce this SCP through an aerobic fermentation process, the broad applicability for use in aquaculture indicates the promise of M. extorquens in leading toward greater food security in the future.