Journal : Aquaculture , vol. 261 , p. 269–284–16 , 2006
Publisher : Elsevier
International Standard Numbers
Printed : 0044-8486
Electronic : 1873-5622
Publication type : Academic article
Issue : 1
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The objectives of this work were to evaluate how dietary soybean meal (SBM) or a soy meal made by bioprocessing the SBM (BPSBM) to remove anti-nutritional factors affected hydrolytic capacity, amino acid absorption, intestinal morphology, and microflora along the intestinal tract of Atlantic cod at two life stages. Three fish meal based standard cod diets were formulated to contain no soy (FM control), 25% SBM, or 22% BPSBM. Prior to sampling the diets were fed to duplicate groups of 0.5 kg (1-year old) and 1.7 kg (2-year old) cod for a period of 3 months, and the groups reached 0.9 and 2.5 kg, respectively. Digesta was then sampled from different intestinal sections for analyses of trypsin and amylase activity as well as absorption of amino acids, nitrogen, and sulphur. Gastrointestinal sections were sampled for measurements of relative weight (kg? 1 body weight), and tissues from these sections were sampled for analyses of brush border enzyme (alkaline phosphatase (ALP), leucine aminopeptidase (LAP), and maltase) activity and histological examination. Microflora was sampled from both digesta and the intestinal wall. The SBM diet stimulated relative growth of all gastrointestinal sections except the distal intestine in both age classes. Relative growth of the pyloric intestine was also stimulated by BPSBM. The pyloric caeca and the upper mid intestine were found to be the major sites for enzymatic hydrolysis of protein and starch and for amino acid absorption. Dietary SBM and BPSBM did not alter the activity of trypsin and LAP, but the activity of these enzymes in the proximal intestine was affected by age, being higher in 1-year old than in 2-year old cod. The rate of amino acid, nitrogen, and sulphur absorption along the gastrointestinal tract was not affected by SBM, but was slowed by BPSBM. Dietary SBM or BPSBM did not alter the morphology of the intestinal mucosa in any sections of the cod intestine. The distal-most structure of the intestine, a compartment with inlet and outlet (anus) valves, showed very high microbial colonisation in the mucosal brush border. Inclusion of SBM in the diet changed the intestinal microflora, increasing the population level of transient bacteria in the pyloric and mid intestine, but reducing the population level of adherent bacteria throughout the intestine. To conclude, Atlantic cod appeared to have a robust and flexible digestive system able to adjust to high dietary levels of soy protein meals.