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Evaluation of Graded Levels of Soy Oil as a Fish Oil Replacement in High Soy Protein Feeds for Juvenile Red Drum, Sciaenops ocellatus



Tracey B. Schock, Aaron Watson, Michael P. Napolitano, John A. Bowden, Jason Frost, Justin Yost, Michael R. Denson


A 9-week feeding trial was conducted with juvenile red drum, Sciaenops ocellatus, to evaluate the use of soy oil as a fish oil replacement. Three primary protein sources (fishmeal - FM, soybean meal - SBM, and soy protein concentrate - SPC) were utilized with 100% fish oil (FM, SBM, SPC), 75% fish oil (SBM, SPC), or 50% fish oil (FM, SBM, SPC) as the lipid source. Traditional growth and performance metrics (specific growth rate, feed consumption, feed conversion ratio) were tracked and tissue samples (liver, muscle, plasma, adipose, and brain) were collected for gas chromatography-based fatty acid profiling. Ten lipid metabolism related genes were analyzed for potential expression differences between dietary treatments in liver and muscle tissues and whole body and fillet tissues were sampled for proximate composition analyses. Forty four fatty acids were measured by GC-FID and evaluated with principle component analysis and ANOVA to understand the dietary influence on lipid metabolism and health. Significant differences in growth rate were observed with the SBM 50% fish oil diet outperforming the FM 100% fish oil reference diet. All other soy protein based diets performed statistically equivalent to both FM reference diets (100% and 50% fish oil) in regards to growth, however all soy protein based formulations had significantly lower feed conversion ratios than the fishmeal based references (p < 0.001). Gene expression differences were not significant in most cases, however often mimicked slight differences in observed performance. Fatty acid profiles differed as a function of oil source, with no apparent influence by protein source, with C18:2n-6 (linoleic acid) being-the primary differentiator. Overall, the six soy protein, fishmeal-free formulations performed equivalently or better than the fishmeal references with up to 50% of fish oil replaced by soybean oil.


Red drum, fishmeal replacement, fish oil replacement, soy utilization, fatty acids, aquaculture


Schock, T. , Watson, A. , Napolitano, M. , Bowden, J. , Frost, J. , Yost, J. and Denson, M. (2020), Evaluation of Graded Levels of Soy Oil as a Fish Oil Replacement in High Soy Protein Feeds for Juvenile Red Drum, Sciaenops ocellatus, Aquaculture, [online], (Accessed June 21, 2024)


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Created June 29, 2020, Updated July 20, 2020