Dietary Supplementation of a Purified Nucleotide Mixture Transiently Enhanced Growth and Feed Utilization of Juvenile Red Drum, Sciaenops ocellatus

Authors

  • Peng Li,

    1. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University System, College Station, Texas 77843-2258 USA and Aquaculture Protein Center, CoE, Sunndalsora, Norway
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    • 1

      Present address: Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University System, 2471 Kleberg Center, Texas 77843-2471 USA.

  • Delbert M. Gatlin III,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University System, College Station, Texas 77843-2258 USA and Aquaculture Protein Center, CoE, Sunndalsora, Norway
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  • William H. Neill

    1. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University System, College Station, Texas 77843-2258 USA
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Corresponding author.

Abstract

Abstract.— Commercial nucleotide products have been shown to enhance early growth as well as immunity and disease resistance in aquacultured fish. Thus, we investigated effects of a purified nucleotide mixture on growth and health of young red drum. The nucleotide premix, containing salts of cytidine, uridine, adenosine, and guanidine, was coated with binders, freeze-dried, and grounded to powder. A fish-meal-based diet was supplemented with 0.03, 0.1, or 0.3% by weight of the coated nucleotide mixture or with 0.2% Optimûn® (Chemoforma Co., Basel, Switzerland), a commercial nucleotide product. The experimental diets were maintained isonitrogenous and isocaloric by adjusting amounts of casein, gelatin, and alanine. Five replicate groups of 12 juvenile red drum (10.2 ± 0.2 g/fish, mean ± SD) were fed each experimental diet for 4 wk, followed by an assay of neutrophil oxidative radical production and a bacterial challenge via intraperitoneal injection of Vibrio harveyi at 2.9 × 107 colony-forming units/g fish. Fish fed all diets supplemented with various levels of purified nucleotides showed significantly (P < 0.01) enhanced weight gain and feed efficiency during the first week of feeding compared to fish fed the basal diet. However, the dietary effects became less significant during the following 3 wk of feeding. The transient growth-enhancing effect of dietary nucleotides observed in the present study may explain the conventional controversy about nucleotide effects on fish growth. Dietary supplementation with nucleotides had no influence on terminal whole-body composition.

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