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Fast growing greater amberjack post-larvae require a high energy-high protein weaning diet

Navarro-Guillén, C., Conceição, L.E.C., Pinto, W., Siguero, I., Urrutia, P., Moyano, F.J., Yúfera, M.
Aquaculture 2019 v.499 pp. 195-202
Seriola dumerili, amylases, carboxylic ester hydrolases, chymotrypsin, diet, energy requirements, enterocytes, fatty acids, feed conversion, growth performance, hatching, histology, juveniles, larvae, lipid content, liver, marine fish, nutrients, pepsin, postlarvae, trypsin, vacuoles, weaning
Larvae and early juveniles of fast-growing fish species show tremendous growth potential, leading to higher requirements for protein, high-unsaturated fatty acids, and other nutrients. Several commercial weaning diets with relatively high success have been developed for low/moderate-growing species; however, additional challenges are outlined to meet growth potential and energy requirements of such fast-growing species. The objective of the present study was to evaluate two commercial microdiets for marine fish, one having simultaneously a very high protein and high lipid contents (HIGH), and another (MOD) with a high protein and moderate lipid content, in a growth performance trial with greater amberjack post-larvae from 33 to 78 days after hatching. Moreover, histological preparations of liver, anterior and posterior intestine were assessed for hepatic and intestinal lipid inclusions quantification and gut epithelial brush height measurement. Activities of the digestive enzymes: pepsin, trypsin, chymotrypsin, lipase and amylase were also analyzed. Post-larvae fed HIGH microdiet exhibited higher final weight and lower feed conversion ratio that those fed on MOD microdiet. Liver displayed a higher level of lipid inclusions for the MOD diet than for HIGH diet. Moreover, enterocytes of posterior intestine presented a much higher level of supranuclear vacuoles for the HIGH diet compared to MOD diet. The lower Trypsin/Chymotrypsin ratio observed at the end of the experiment in larvae fed on MOD diet may indicate a deficiency in protein of this diet. Together, these results support that larvae of greater amberjack, and likely other fast-growing marine fish species, require high protein–high lipid microdiets. The use of microdiets developed targeting slower growing marine species may lead to sub-optimal performances in fast-growing larvae.