Influence of dietary non-essential amino acid profile on growth performance and amino acid metabolism of Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus (L.).Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2007 Jan; 146(1):71-7.CB
The quality of dietary protein is an important factor influencing the growth performance of fish. To evaluate the quality of protein, the variables commonly studied are the composition of the essential amino acids, the digestibility and the protein use efficiency. The goal of the present experiment was to test the effect of the dietary non-essential amino acid composition on the growth of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). The fish were fed three purified diets differing only in their non-essential amino acid composition. The influence of the experimental diets on the growth performance, on the activity of enzymes involved in the amino acid metabolism, aspartate aminotransferase (ASAT) and alanine aminotransferase (ALAT), and on whole body delta(15)N values was investigated. Body mass, lipid, protein and energy gain differed significantly between the feeding groups. The activity of ASAT in the whole liver was significantly higher in fish with a positive protein balance compared to fish which lost protein. Whole body delta(15)N values of fish were negatively correlated with their body mass gain. Despite the poor utilisation of synthetic amino acids, the experiment indicates the importance of the dietary non-essential amino acid composition for the growth performance of fish. The study reveals the possibility to trace the utilisation of synthetic amino acids by determining the isotopic composition of dietary amino acids and tissues or whole bodies of animals.